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title ONE. Organization of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Status of Judges

 

Chapter I General Provisions

 

Article 1. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation - Judicial Body of Constitutional Review

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be the judicial body of constitutional review, exercising judicial authority autonomously and independently, by means of constitutional judicial proceedings.

 

Article 2. Legislation on the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The powers, procedures for the constitution and functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be determined by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Article 3. Powers of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

To protect the foundations of the constitutional system and the fundamental human and citizen rights and freedoms, and to ensure the supremacy and direct effect of the Constitution of the Russian Federation on the entire territory of the Russian Federation, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation:

1) shall decide cases on conformity with the Constitution of the Russian Federation of:

a) federal laws, normative acts issued by the President of the Russian Federation, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation;

b) constitutions of republics, charters, as well as laws and other normative acts issued by constituent entities of the Russian Federation on matters pertaining to the jurisdiction of bodies of State Power of the Russian Federation and to the joint jurisdiction of bodies of State Power of the Russian Federation and bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation;

c) agreements between bodies of State Power of the Russian Federation and bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and agreements between bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation;

d) international treaties of the Russian Federation pending their entry into force;

2) shall decide disputes concerning competence:

a) between federal bodies of State Power;

b) between bodies of State Power of the Russian Federation and bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation;

c) between supreme bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation;

3) shall, on complaints about violation of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens, verify the constitutionality of a law that has been applied in a specific case.

31) shall, at requests of courts, verify the constitutionality of a law that ought to be applied by a respective court in a specific case.

4) shall give the interpretation of the Constitution of the Russian Federation;

5) shall render a declaratory judgment on the observance of a prescribed procedure for charging the President of the Russian Federation with high treason or with commission of other grave offense;

5.1) verifies conformity to the Constitution of the Russian Federation of a question submitted to a referendum in accordance with the Federal Constitutional Law regulating holding of a referendum of the Russian Federation;

6) shall take legislative initiative on matters pertaining to its jurisdiction;

7) shall exercise other powers vested in it by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Federation Treaty and federal constitutional laws; may also exercise rights vested in it by agreements concluded in accordance with Article 11 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation on delimitation of jurisdiction and powers between bodies of State Power of the Russian Federation and bodies of State Power of constituent entities of the Russian Federation as long as those rights do not contravene its legal nature and destination as a judicial body of constitutional review.

The competence of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as provided for by the present Article, shall not be altered other than by the introduction of an amendment to the present Federal Constitutional Law.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall rule exclusively on matters of law.

In carrying out constitutional judicial proceedings the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall refrain from establishment and investigation of actual facts whenever this falls within competence of other courts or other bodies.

Regarding its internal administration the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall adopt the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Article 4. Composition, Procedure for the Establishment, and Duration of Powers of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall consist of nineteen Judges appointed by the Federation Council upon nomination made by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is entitled to carry out its activity provided there is presence of two thirds of the total number of Judges.

The powers of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be of unlimited duration.

 

Article 5. Governing Principles of Functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The governing principles of the functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be independence, collegiality, openness, adversary system and equality of parties.

 

Article 6. Binding Force of Decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be obligatory throughout the territory of the Russian Federation for all representative, executive, and judicial bodies of State Power, bodies of local government, enterprises, agencies, organizations, officials, citizens and their associations.

 

Article 7. Guarantees of Functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be independent of any other body in organizational, financial, and material and technical terms. Funding of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be provided for in the federal budget and shall ensure an independent and comprehensive carrying out of constitutional judicial proceedings. The federal budget shall annually allocate in a separate item funds needed to ensure functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation that shall be managed by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation autonomously. Spending estimates of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may not be reduced as compared to a preceding financial year.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall autonomously and independently provide for informational and personnel support of its functioning.

Assets essential for the functioning the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and managed by it shall be the federal property. The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may vest the right to manage the aforementioned property in the structural units comprising its staff.

There shall be no restriction of legal, organizational, financial, informational, material and technical, personnel, and other conditions of functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, prescribed by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Chapter II Status of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

 

Article 8. Requirements for Candidate for the Office of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

A citizen of the Russian Federation who has by the day of the appointment attained forty years of age, of high moral character, who has higher juridical education and work experience in the legal profession of at least fifteen years, who possesses recognized high qualifications in the sphere of law, may be appointed the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Article 9. Procedure of Appointment of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

Proposals regarding candidates for offices of Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be introduced to the President of the Russian Federation by members (deputies) of the Federation Council and by deputies of the State Duma, as well as by legislative (representative) bodies of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, supreme judicial bodies and federal legal departments, all-Russia law associations, legal research and educational institutions.

The Federation Council shall consider the question of the appointment of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in no event later than fourteen days after the receipt of the submission of the President of the Russian Federation.

Each Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be appointed individually by secret ballot. The person who receives a majority of the votes of the total number of members (deputies) of the Federation Council shall be considered appointed.

If in the event of a Judge’s withdrawal from the composition of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation the number of Judges appears to be less than two thirds of the total number of Judges, a submission to appoint another person to fill the vacancy of a Judge shall be made by the President of the Russian Federation to the Council of Federation in no event later than one month after the occurrence of the vacancy.

 

Article 10. Oath of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The President of the Federation Council under a procedure established by the Federation Council shall administer the oath to a person appointed to the office of Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall take the following oath:

"I do swear to carry out honestly and conscientiously the duties of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, bound solely by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and by nothing and no one else."

 

Article 11. Occupations and Activities Incompatible with the Office of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

No Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be a member (a deputy) of the Federation Council, a deputy of the State Duma, other representative bodies, hold or retain other public or social office, have private practice, engage in entrepreneurial or any other remunerative activities apart from teaching, academic and other creative activity which shall pose no impediment to the discharge of duties of a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and shall not be deemed as a valid reason for being absent from a session, if the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has not given its consent to it.

No Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may conduct defense or provide representation, other than legal representation, in court, in court of arbitration or in other bodies, render patronage to anyone in obtaining rights and relieving from duties.

No Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may belong to political parties and movements, render material support to them, participate in political actions, conduct political propaganda or campaigning, participate in election campaigns to bodies of State Power and bodies of local self-government, attend congresses and conferences of political parties and movements, engage in other political activity. Nor may he be part of the leadership of any social associations, even if they do not pursue political goals.

No Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall, when appearing in print, in other means of mass media, or before any audience, publicly express his opinion on the matter which may be subject to consideration by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, as well as the one which is currently under consideration or has been admitted for consideration by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation until the decision on the matter has been handed down.

Nothing in the present Article shall be considered as restricting the right of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation to freely express his will as citizen and voter by voting at elections and referendum.

 

Article 12. Term of Office of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The term of the office of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be indefinite. The age limit for the office of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be seventy years. The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be considered to have assumed his office from the moment of his taking the oath. His powers shall terminate on the last day of the month in which he is to attain the age of seventy. The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation who has attained the age limit for the office of the Judge shall continue to carry out his duties until the final decision in a case that originated with his participation is handed down, hearing of which was held with his participation.

 If in the event of a Judge’s withdrawal from the composition of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on the ground indicated in Item 2 or 3 of Section 1 of Article 18 of the present Federal Constitutional Law the number of Judges appears to be less than two thirds of the total number of Judges, he shall continue to carry out the duties of a Judge until the appointment of a new Judge.

The age limit for the office of the Judge established by the present Article, as well as by other federal constitutional laws and federal laws, shall not apply to the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Article 13. Guarantees of Independence of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The independence of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be ensured by his irremovability from office, immunity, equality of rights of Judges, the procedure provided for by the present Federal Constitutional Law for suspension and termination of powers of the Judge, the right to resign, the binding force of the established procedure of the constitutional judicial proceedings, the prohibition of any interference whatsoever with the judicial activity, by granting to the Judge material and social security, the guarantees of his safety appropriate to his high status.

Material guarantees of independence of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, related to his salary, granting annual leave, social benefits, providing dwelling, social and consumer services, compulsory State life and health insurance of the Judge, as well as of the property belonging to him and to his family members, shall be provided for in accordance with the corresponding guarantees, envisaged by the legislation of the Russian Federation for judges of other superior federal courts. In the event that other legal acts envisage different norms, enhancing the level of legal protection, material and social security of the Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the provisions of those acts shall apply.

 

Article 131 Procedure for Granting of a Qualification Grade to the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

On submission of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation the supreme judicial qualification grade shall be granted to the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation by the President of the Russian Federation in the course of six months.

 

Article 14. Irremovability of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be irremovable.

The powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be terminated or suspended only under the procedure and on the grounds, provided for by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Article 15. Immunity of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Judge of the Constitutional Court shall enjoy immunity. The guarantees of the immunity of the Judge of the Constitutional Court shall be provided for by the present Federal Constitutional Law and by a federal law on the status of judges.

The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, including after expiration of his term of office, shall not be held responsible for an opinion expressed at a session of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, unless found guilty of the malicious abuse of authority by a court sentence that has entered into force.

A disciplinary misdeed committed by a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (a violation of the present Federal Constitutional Law, a federal law on the status of judges, as well as of the Code of Judicial Ethics adopted by the All-Russia Congress of Judges) shall be punishable pursuant to a decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation by a disciplinary action, such as:

 admonition;
 
           termination of powers of the judge.

 

Article 16. Equality of Rights of Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall enjoy equal rights.

The Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall have the casting vote on all the questions considered in sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The powers of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be established by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Article 17. Suspension of Powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be suspended in the event of:

1) criminal charges being brought against a Judge, or a Judge being joined in an indictment in a separate criminal case;

2) the Judge being temporarily unable to perform his duties due to the state of his health.

Suspension of powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be implemented by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, taken in no event later than one month after the grounds for such suspension have been revealed.

No Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation whose powers have been suspended may participate in sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation or send official documents to the state bodies and organizations, social associations, officials and citizens and to demand from them any documents or other information.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall suspend powers of the Judge until grounds for such suspension cease to exist. The restoration of powers of the Judge shall be formalized by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, with the exception of the event provided for in Paragraph 2 of Section One of the present Article.

Suspension of powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall not entail the suspension of payment of the Judge's salary and shall not deprive him of the guarantees stipulated by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Article 18. Termination of Powers of Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be terminated in view of the following:

1) the violation of the procedure of his appointment as Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as established under the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the present Federal Constitutional Law;

2) the attainment of the age limit for the office of the Judge;

3) his personal application in writing for early retirement prior to the attainment of the age limit for the office of the Judge;

4) the forfeiture by the Judge of the citizenship of the Russian Federation;

5) the decision of conviction passed upon the Judge that has come into legal effect;

6) the commission by the Judge of an act defamatory to the honor and dignity of the Judge;

7) the Judge's continuation of occupations and activities incompatible with his office in spite of an admonition from the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation;

8) failure by the Judge to attend the sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation or his vote evasion for more than two times in succession without a valid reason;

9) the declaration of the Judge as incapable person by a court decision that has come into legal effect;

10) the declaration of the Judge as missing person by court decision that has come into legal effect;

11) the declaration of the Judge as dead person by court decision that has come into legal effect;

12) death of the Judge.

The powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may also be terminated in view of his incapacity due to health reasons or due to other valid reasons to perform duties of a Judge during an extended period of time (not less that ten months in succession).

The termination of the powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be implemented by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation which shall be transmitted to the President of the Russian Federation, to the Federation Council and which shall constitute an official notification of the occurrence of the vacancy.

The termination of the powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation under the provisions of Paragraph 1 of Section One of the present Article shall be effected by the Federation Council upon the submission of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

Termination of powers of a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on the ground indicated in Item 6, 7 or 8 of Section 1 of the present Article shall be effected by the Council of Federation upon submission of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation adopted by the majority of not less than two thirds of the number of acting Judges.

 

Article 19. Retirement of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Judge shall be considered retired or removed into retirement if his powers are terminated on the grounds stipulated by Paragraphs 2, 3 and 9 of Section One and by Section Two of Article 18 of the present Federal Constitutional Law.

The retired Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with a period of service in the office of the judge of not less than fifteen years, irrespective of his age, shall be paid at his choice either the pension or the tax-free monthly life allowance equal to eighty per cent of the salary of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in office. The work experience, making him eligible to monthly life allowance, shall include the preceding experience in the legal profession.

The procedure for assessment and payment of the monthly life allowance shall be prescribed by the Government of the Russian Federation upon the submission of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Funding for the payment of the monthly life allowance to the retired Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be appropriated from the federal budget.

Other provisions pertinent to the status of a retired judge, established by the legislation of the Russian Federation, shall extend to the retired Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Chapter III Structure and Organization of Functioning of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

 

Article 20. Organizational Forms of Constitutional Judicial Proceedings

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall consider and decide cases in sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with the holding of hearings, and in cases and procedures stipulated by Article 471of the present Federal Constitutional Law without holding of hearings.

 

Article 21. Questions considered in Sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall consider in sessions all questions related to powers of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation stipulated by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and Article 3 of the present Federal Constitutional Law.

The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in sessions shall also:

1) approve the messages of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation;

2) adopt the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and introduce amendments and additions thereto;

3) decide on the nomination of a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation to be awarded a state decoration of the Russian Federation including conferment upon him an honorary title of the Russian Federation, and on requesting the President of the Russian Federation for his consent to acceptance by a Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of a or other honorable distinction of a foreign state;

4) decide on suspension or termination of the powers of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and on the existence of the grounds for early termination by the Federation Council on the submission of the President of the Russian Federation of the powers of the President or the Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation;

5) exercise other powers envisaged by the present Federal Constitutional Law.

 

Article 22. Repealed

 

Article 23. Appointment to the Office of the President and Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be appointed to the office by the Council of the Federation upon submission of the President of the Russian Federation for the term of six years from among the Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall have two Vice-Presidents who shall be appointed to the office by the Federation Council upon submission of the President of the Russian Federation from among the Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The President and Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be re-appointed to the office for new terms upon expiration of preceding terms of office.

The President and Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may vacate their respective offices by submitting a personal application in writing. Such vacation of offices shall be acknowledged by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The powers of the President or the Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation may be terminated early by the Federation Council upon submission of the President of the Russian Federation if it is established by the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation that the President or a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation fail to perform their duties or perform them in an inappropriate manner. The aforementioned decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be adopted by the majority of no less than two thirds of the number of acting Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation by secret ballot in the procedure established by the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Termination of the powers of the President or the Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as Judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on the grounds envisaged by Paragraphs 1, 6, 7 or 8 of Section 1 of Article 18 of the present Federal Constitutional Law shall not be permitted without termination of his powers as the President or the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

If the offices of the President or a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation fall vacant, the President or the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall be appointed to the office under the procedure established by the present Article. Upon expiration of their terms the President or a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall continue to carry out their duties until the appointment to the office of the new President or the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Article 24. The President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall:

1) oversee preparation of the sessions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, convene them and preside over them;

2) submit for the consideration of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation the questions to be considered at its sessions;

3) represent the Constitutional Court of Russian Federation in relations with state bodies and organizations, social associations, and, under the authority of the Constitutional Court of Russian Federation, issue statements on its behalf;

4) perform general management of the staff of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, submit for the confirmation by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation candidates for head of the Apparatus and head of the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation as well as the Regulations of the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the structure of the staff;

5) exercise other powers in accordance with the present Federal Constitutional Law and the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall issue orders and directives.

 

Article 25. Temporary Performance of Duties of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

Whenever the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is unable to perform his duties they shall be temporarily performed by one of the Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation by authorization of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

In the event that a Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is unable to perform duties of the President, temporary performance of those duties shall be assumed by a Judge with the longest time of service as the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, and in the event of such time being even – to the Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with the seniority of age.

 

Article 26. Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

The Vice-Presidents of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall exercise on authorization of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation certain of his powers, as well as perform other duties imposed on them by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 

Article 27. – Repealed

 

Article 28. Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

On the basis of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the present Federal Constitutional Law the Rules of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall establish procedure for defining the priority of considering cases in the sessions, rules of procedure and etiquette in the sessions, the special character of the office-work in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, requirements to be met by members of the staff of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and other questions of internal administration of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

 


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