Swing course

Coming to our homeland coronavirus coincided with oncoming traffic on West signals about the plans of the Russian authorities to undermine the foundations of democracy amendments to the Constitution. Not so long ago on the portal www.change.org a petition calling for more than 120 figures who signed an open letter to the citizens of Russia in the Council of Europe calling for an urgent examination of the legal amendments to the Constitution of Russia and the procedure for their adoption. Full of happiness and victory we need extras.

In a country of 146 million people to find 200 thousand unhappy (as are about to score the initiators) task is possible and feasible in terms of fatigue from isolation and enforced idleness. The trick is that, even after collecting the required signatures, the petition will not solve anything. The organizers are well aware of this. Nevertheless going to obviously disastrous dubious adventure with a diversion on a false object.

Here an explanation is necessary. European Commission for democracy through law or Venice Commission is an Advisory body established under the Council of Europe in 1990 for the analysis of the constitutional acts of the States-participants and their projects. The experts of the Commission is Advisory in nature. Simply put, the Commission is a body of authoritative, but any authority in respect of the countries-participants does not possess. That is, their opinion can not be canceled and will not change. In addition, there’s an iron clad rule: appeals to the Commission on issues of constitutional law of the state may be considered only with the consent of that state. The exception is when the review was initiated by Council of Europe bodies (this happens when the affected interests of the several States, or the state changes the format of the commitments to foreign partners).

this time, at the request of the PACE Committee on legal Affairs and the Commission had to assess one of the amendments to the Constitution (article 79), according to which in Russia are not subject to decisions of international bodies adopted on the basis of provisions of international treaties in the interpretation contradicting the Constitution. This rule, for obvious reasons, “strained” Western colleagues,

and the work began. However, the raging epidemic of coronavirus disrupted scheduled for late March Commission meeting. The theme, not really begun, stalled.

it was then, as on wave of a magic wand, to light came the collective appeal of some leaders and experts to urgently request the opinion of the Venice Commission on the compliance of democratic standards of the Council of Europe has not one, but all the amendments to the Constitution of Russia and the procedure of their adoption.

Who are these “well-known Russian human rights activists, leading lawyers, respected by��representatives of the expert community and politicians” who decided to play the role of the apostles evrodemokratii? Group portrait gives a rather mixed picture. A large number of signatories constitute the “leaders” and administrators in geldigine the beginning of the 1990s, to whom we owe the establishment of democracy and the successful start of market reforms.

a Respectable cohort of signatories of the complementary policies that fell in different years from the nomenklatura clips, etc. in Fairness there among the signatories and dissidents. But still the core is the person of a new formation, for the most part and by a strange coincidence, affiliated with organizations registered as foreign agents and foreign institutions. Dozens of signatories show care for their country, moving abroad, including hiding there from justice and claims of creditors.

Collective potential samonazvanie intellectual elite, of course, allowed to adequately assess the whole undertaking as a legally dead-end. Slanderous the paper, even being sent to the Council of Europe risks getting stuck on the outskirts of the Commission. Because the queries in an authoritative expert body headed by regulations of the member States and not by the Complainants. The latter, however, may support the structure of the Council of Europe, entitled request to the Commission and expect that the initiators of the petition.

But let’s say, a document reached by the Commission. It is obvious that today, in the context of coronavirus, it can hardly be considered before voting day: the procedure takes about one month. Imagine that in the Venice Commission, coming from different countries, wearing masks and moving in the direction of the other matters he immediately engaged in this business. The signatories excited rubbing their hands.

And now here is an instruction written below:

“a Strong Central government in Russia may be an appropriate remedy at this stage of history.”

“Mechanisms that work well in one Federation may not work in another. Each country has its own history…”

“the adoption of the Constitution is the issue that each particular state, its politicians, members of Parliament, constitutional experts and citizens in accordance with its specific national features and constitutional traditions.”

If you think of these quotes from the website of “United Russia” and onf, something very wrong. … They are taken from the Conclusion of the Venice Commission on the Constitution of Russia in 1993. Yes, 26 years ago, reading the base revision of our Constitution, the Commission stressed that the issue of changing the constitutions, there is no uniform patterns. And, by the way, contrary to the assertions of the authors of the petition unfinished, the attitude of experts to the document was not so enthusiastic. Along with overall positive evaluations in custody were the problematic parameters Constucii and advice, that is, “to grow”.

when Reading these guidelines today, understand the difference between real professionals and charlatans of expertise. Then, in the early 1990s, experts have worked on conscience, giving advice on how in the future to clarify the procedure for interaction and to find better balance in relations between the President and the Federal Assembly, the Government and the Constitutional Court, proposing to increase the legitimacy of the power to distribute it according to the three branches, offering to provide a balance of Federal, regional and local laws and regulations. Noting that if the purpose of the rules on the immunity of judges from criminal prosecution is to ensure the independence of the courts, it is excessive. And restrictions on the election of deputies and of the conditions of incompatibility with the Duma mandate proposed to fix at the constitutional level.

Look at the amendments to the Constitution made on the basis of the message of the President, and carefully comparing them with the proposals of the Venice Commission. Nothing like? Right. Amendments to the Constitution allocate the balance of power between its branches and levels, build a delicate system of checks and balances, complete the social obligations of the state in relation to a particular level of public authority. In fact, today Russian lawmakers fulfill the recommendations given by the Commission 26 years ago. The fact is obvious.

In this situation, the Venice Commission will be put in a difficult position. In most cases, the fee remains only to confirm (perhaps with minor reservations) the former positions. The rejection of these previously made items for an expert body would be a complete loss of face. And the reputation of lawyers quite safe.

is the following topic: the legitimacy of the procedure of adoption of the amendments. And there is nothing to catch. The report of the Venice Commission on the constitutional amendments 2009 black and white points out: “…the legitimacy of a constitutional amendment can be strengthened by direct participation of the people in the amendment procedure…”. The Russians listened and stepped up, instead of typing impossible on constitutional procedure of a referendum is a nationwide vote with a different status, but with the same basic principle – to be or not to be amendments to solve the citizens.

In Russia, providing legal and political legitimacy of amendments to the Constitution moves “on the rise”. This is a public endorsement of the chambers of the Federal Assembly (2/3 of votes in the state Duma and ¾ of the Federation Council), then the amendments were approved by all the legislative assemblies of the regions (in the bar at 2/3). As a safety measures assessment of the proposed amendments and the procedure of their adoption held, the constitutional Court gave a positive conclusion. And finally, a key stage that determines the fate of the amendments will be a nationwide vote, which will be watched by observers. All this makes any attempts to challenge them are flawed.

it would Seem that the people and structures who do not agree with the amendments, you have the chance to mobilize their supporters in a fair political struggle. If they call themselves human rights defenders, representatives of the expert community, they just have to work hard and lead supporters to fight to the last. Work together to develop their pieces of power that gives them personal direct vote. Come and exercise their right to say the amendment “no.” That is, behave as free citizens, not as servants, seeking the intercession of a German ruler.

Instead of the public struggle in areas people are being drawn into a cheap subscription game where the goal is collective – promotion and casting. People are unaware that they use as extras in the production, and their signature to the petition noted in the new grant applications. Signing the petition with the Jesuit wording, they essentially challenge their right to decide the fate of the country at home. That identified themselves as the navigators of freedom and democracy, quietly put a piece of iron under the compass, changing course, going to trust them a team not in enlightened Europe, and in colonial slavery.

the Mechanics of manipulating simple: two challenges (devaluation of the meaning of the amendments and the discrediting of the procedure for their adoption) are supported by arguments of two sorts: the ignorance and the authority said. In the first case, marked as the ACE out of his sleeve, removed the false issue of violated freedoms and international standards. In the second authority to catch a huge number of signatories themselves with lush (although often exaggerated) titles. Simple as ABC. But contrary to…

Oleg Ivannikov, Director of the charitable organization “law and order” candidate of historical Sciences.