Staunton, June 7 – Many commentators in both Russia and abroad believe that the amendments to the 1993 Russian Constitution Vladimir Putin pushed through in 2020 declared Russian law superior to and independent of international law and that ending the ability of Russians to appeal to the European Court for Human Rights was only a matter of time.
But Elena Lukyanova, a legal specialist at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics until 2020 when she was forced out because of her criticism of Putin’s amendments, says that despite what many think, the amendments did not eliminate the constitutional provision specifying that Russian law is subordinate to international law (rosbalt.ru/russia/2022/06/08/1961590.html).
The amendments did not touch most of the constitution and did not remove its provision specifying that Russian law is subordinate to international law and that the Russian government must not act in violation of international law and that Russian citizens must have the ability to appeal to international bodies if Moscow does.
But now that the Duma has voted to ignore the ECHR and to pay any past compensation only in rubles, Lukyanova says, Moscow has violated its own constitution and is forcing Russians “to live in a closed state cut off from the rest of the world” and one that is “not connected with law” but rather the whims of its rulers.
Russian officials like Duma spokesman Vyacheslav Volodin are justifying what the Duma has done by arguing that “the European Court for Human Rights has become an instrument of political struggle against our country in the hands of Western politicians” and that “certain of its decisions directly contract the Russian Constitution, our values and our traditions.”