NEWSLINK: Constitutional Court considering law on rallies

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

(Constitutional Court considering law on rallies – ITAR-TASS – RUSSIAN PRESS REVIEW – November 28, 2012 –

ITAR-TASS reports on the Russian Constitutional Court’s review of a law on protests:

Russia’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday began to consider complaints filed by parliamentarians of the State Duma and opposition leader Eduard Limonov. They oppose new rules for organizing rallies and street protests. Parliamentarians disagree with higher fines for any violations related to rallies. Limonov spoke out against the rules banning persons who were earlier brought to administrative responsibility to organize rallies.

The complaints filed by a group of parliamentarians from the Communist Party and A Fair Russia and controversial writer and opposition leader Eduard Limonov proved to be a reason for considering the law on rallies and were consolidated by the Constitutional Court into a single case, the Novye Izverstiya reported.

Concerns have been raised about at least one member of the court itself:

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported that before the trial the opposition considered an opportunity to recuse the chairman of the Constitutional Court, Valery Zorkin. It planned to bring a non confidence motion against the presiding judge and as a result demand his recusal, first of all, over the violations of allegedly ethic bans and restrictions that are effective for the country’s higher judges. One of the bans unambiguously fixed in Article 11 of the constitutional law states that giving media interviews and speaking to any audience a judge has no right to express his/her point of view that may become a subject on trial at the Constitutional Court. Zorkin has repeatedly in some newspaper interviews criticized “the Bolotnaya opposition” (named after the rally on Bolotnaya Square), whose actions ­ as it had been repeatedly mentioned at different levels of power ­ forced the toughening of the law on rallies.

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