Putin is shaking up the constitution and there were reports suggesting that the process, as well as the amendments themselves, are probably unlawful/illegal despite the Constitutional Court's ruling stating otherwise. Speaking strictly from a legal standpoint, what can be said on the issue?
Speaking strictly from a legal standpoint, what can be said on the issue?
Strictly speaking, the Constitutional Court is the top authority on the legality of anything. One can speculate as much as they want on whether the Court was biased, pre-determined, corrupt, defiant, flagrantly blatant or ridiculously unjust. These speculations would be pure politics. They do not change the fact that whatever the Court has decided is legal just by definition.
I don't know what reports are claiming it's "probably unlawful/illegal" and why when the Russian constitution states:
- The Constitutional Assembly shall either confirm the invariability of the Constitution of the Russian Federation or draft a new Constitution of the Russian Federation, which shall be adopted by the Constitutional Assembly by two thirds of the total number of its members or submitted to a referendum. In case of a referendum the Constitution of the Russian Federation shall be considered adopted, if over half of the voters who came to the polls supported it and under the condition that over half of the electorate participated in the referendum.
The entire procedure for amending the Basic Law of the Russian Federation in all its components is unlawful and does not comply with the current Constitution, neither in content nor in form. The content of Putin's amendments undoubtedly affects subjects directly related to Chapters 1 and 2 of the Constitution, which should be amended in a completely different order, and requires the convening of a Constitutional Assembly. The 1998 Law on the Procedure for the Adoption and Entry into Force of Amendments to the Russian Constitution requires that a justification be provided for the necessity of each constitutional amendment. This is not the case: the explanatory note to the draft outlines the content of the amendments themselves, but does not explain the reasons and purpose for the amendments. With the amendments, Putin is trying to solve his main problem - the removability of power. The new Constitution allows him to rule until 2036. Putin's amendments in Chapters 3 to 8 deal with fundamentally different topics: the powers and competencies of government bodies, the composition of government bodies, local self-government, international law, the social sphere, and the rights of citizens. However, the 1998 law On the Procedure for Adoption and Entry into Force of Amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation expressly prohibits making different and differently directed amendments to the Constitution through the mechanism of a single amendment. It establishes that only "interrelated changes to the constitutional text" may be covered by a single law of the Russian Federation on amendments to the Constitution.