One day of the Russian Constitution


12 December 2008

 It’s the 15th anniversary of the Russian Federation Constitution adopted in 1993. Since that moment there have been a lot of dramatic changes in Russia. Today our country is different from the country it was hen the Fundamental Law was adopted. Political, economic, social and cultural changes have affected the state and society at all levels.

In that flow of changes which were not always favourable for the country and the people, unfortunately, the Constitution has always been the stamina and guarantee of Russia’s stability and legal capacity whoever is in power.  

We can suppose that irrespective of the Constitutional reform, the Fundamental Law still plays the same role- the centre of legal relations securing the state’s existence.

We are not going to assess the necessity, causes and consequences of constitutional changes – this requires deep multifactor analysis without any emotions based on political predilections.

Moreover, the fundamental principles laid down by its authors and the people as a basis for Russian Law and Equity – making human rights and fundamental freedoms a priority, democratic character of state bodies.

Russia has a really brilliant Constitution that stands abreast with the best world patterns.

The only problem in connection with the Constitution is the problem of execution of regulations set therein, this problem is extreme and nonrecoverable so far, within 15 years the issue of non-performance remains burning.   

In Russian almost no one – neither the authorities, nor the society, nor separate individuals – aims at complying with the Constitution in their everyday activity.  

The supreme power only declares that it is committed to the spirit of the Constitution, the same goes for other state bodies- following the supreme power law enforcement, control, supervision, executive, legislative and judicial bodies only claim that they stick to the Constitution.

Verbally, everyone is in favour of compliance with the Law, respect of law and protection of values adopted in December 1993. In practice, commitment to the most evident Constitution norms is a rare “deed of valour”, a unique event, something to be proud of.   

The experience of our organization, the Interregional Committee against Torture, shows that it is necessary, constantly and insistently, repeatedly and anew in each case, to demand compliance with the Constitution from the state and its agents, and sometimes it is routine practice to make sure that state bodies at least know the norms.

It is evident that the situation when constitution norms are not applied, the Fundamental Law is ignored, the negligent attitude towards the legal system as a whole have become a general rule for Russia’s everyday life, such practice is detrimental for the state, unacceptable for a democratic society and dangerous for the folk.

Today many people will remember about the Constitution. Alas, for one day only.

Unfortunately, in modern Russia the 12th of December seems to be literally the only Constitution day in the whole year.

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