What Changes for the Constitutional Court with the New Russian Constitution?

In: Russian Politics
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  • 1 Associate professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations and Centre for Comparative Governance Studies, HSE University, St. Petersburg, Russia

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Abstract

Of the 206 amendments introduced to the Russian constitution and adopted on July 1, 2020, 24 deal directly with the Constitutional Court, its organization, functioning, and the role it plays in the political system. Compared to many other, these are also rather precise and detailed, ranging from the number of judges on the bench, their nomination and dismissal, to the Court’s inner procedures, new locus standi limitations, and the primacy of the Constitution over Russia’s international obligations. Most changes only reproduce amendments brought to the secondary legislation over the last twenty years, and are therefore meant to preserve the status quo rather than change anything significantly. At the same time, a number of amendments aim at politicizing and instrumentalizing the Court for the president’s benefit, marking a significant departure from the previous institutional development.