Saturday, September 26, 2020

Debate over Fate of Ingush Constitutional Court Intensifies

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 25 – After the Ingush Popular Assembly refused to consider a call by republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov to disband the republic’s Constitution Court, the public debate on the fate of that court has intensified with an aide to the republic head and a judge of the Constitutional Court squaring off online.

            In an Instagram post, Issa Kostoyev, a Kalimatov advisor, says that eliminating the Constitutional Court is not only legal but necessary given that no such court at the regional level is mentioned in the provisions of the amended Russian Constitution (

            According to him, the authority of the court ended in December 2019 and any extension of its activities is thus illegal. As the types of courts at each level are defined by the constitution, no new law is needed to abolish it. Ingushetia is one of only 13 regions with a constitutional court, and like the others, it has been inactive, returning only 24 decisions over the last decade.

            Moreover, Kostoyev continues, closing the court will save the republic money and allow the government to allocate it to the busier lower courts.  He said that few Ingush even knew about the Constitutional Court until its decision against the border accord with Chechnya and that few will miss it when it is gone.

            And in conclusion, the Kalimatov advisor expressed surprise that the proposed dissolution of the Constitutional Court had been posted on line, something that sparked large numbers of posts by people “who do not understand the essence of the situation.” This was a housekeeping measure, not an attack on the republic’s prerogatives.

            Opposing that view was Ibragim Doskiyev, a judge of the Constitutional Court. He too went online to express his views that the court was in no  way abolished by the Russian Constitution, that it was not overly expensive, and that it has proved essential to Ingushetia (

            The Russian Constitution may not mention constitutional courts at the regional level but it doesn’t specify that they must be disbanded or disbanded right now.  Moreover, the costs of operating the Constitutional Court are small compared to lower courts and to the many festivals Magas is given to organizing.

            Also defending the Ingush Constitutional Court was Ingush lawyer Magomed Bekov ( He detailed what the Ingush government is spending on many other things much less useful to the republic.

            But his most important comment, one that reflects what many Ingush think, was this: “At the most fateful moment for our people and the Republic, namely this most ‘ineffective court’ rose to defend the law which does not allow casually handing over the territory of the republic as was done by two padishahs.”   

            Meanwhile, the Russian Supreme Court released from detention to house arrest Maksharip Batygov, who is accused of using force against officials in the March 2019 protests. His attorney was unable, however, to have the Moscow court order that his future trials be held in Ingushetia rather than in a Russian region ( and

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