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Address: 129090, Moscow, Shchepkina str., 8

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 140, Moscow, 129090, Russia

Tel.: +7 (495) 608 6959, 608 6635; Fax: +7 (495) 608 6915

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Enhancing Civic Engagement in Strategic Constitutional Litigation in Russia
Answers for frequently asked questions

Answers for frequently asked questions

— What is a complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court?
— What results can be achieved by complaining to the RCC?
— What alternative means of judicial protection exist?

 

What is a complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court?

The complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court is a written request to the RCC to protect the violated constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and (or) citizens' associations.

The RCC is authorized to carry out the highest legal protection of rights and freedoms – the protection at the level of the Russian Constitution. But the complaint to the RCC cannot be submitted in all cases of alleged violations, it can be done only according to Para 4 of Article 125 of the Constitution and the Federal Constitutional Law “On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation” (Para 3 of Section 1 of Article 3).

We pay your particular attention to:

You can submit a complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court only if:

  • You are a proper subject of a complaint;
  • The resolution of your issue is under the jurisdiction of the RCC;
  • Your complaint meets the requirements established by the Federal Constitutional Law on the Russian Constitutional Court.

 

What results can be achieved by complaining to the RCC?

The complaint to the Russian Constitutional Court can cause:

  • The recognition of the law or some of its provisions, which violate the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and (or) associations of citizens, not in the accordance with Russian Constitution. In this case the law or its separate provisions are repealed and the judicial act imposed on the applicant's case by the court of general jurisdiction or a court of arbitration becomes a subject to revision;
  • The identification of the constitutional meaning of the law or its separate provisions. This means that it can no longer be used in the sense, it was understood before. The decision of the court of general jurisdiction or arbitration court will be reviewed if the applied norm was given the meaning, which was recognized nor constitutional.

 

What alternative means of judicial protection exist?

Before making a decision to complain to the RCC, you should know that there are some other ways that will more fruitfully help you to solve your particular problem.

A wide range of issues relating to the rights and freedoms of citizens are considered in Russian courts of general jurisdiction and arbitration courts. In a number of federal subjects of the Russian Federation constitutional (charter) courts are also functioning. In certain conditions it is also possible to obtain protection and to restore the violated rights in international bodies to protect human rights.

In accordance with the norms of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Justice (CAJ) general courts consider and decide administrative cases:

  • challenging the normative legal acts (Chapter 21 of CAJ);
  • challenging the decisions, actions (inaction) of bodies exercising public authority, and their officials (Chapter 22 of CAJ) and others.

It should be borne in mind that, under the provisions of the Arbitration Procedure Code, a number of specific cases challenging the normative legal acts issued by the federal executive authorities, considering the Court for intellectual property rights: this is the case challenging the normative legal acts in the field of patent rights and rights to selection achievements rights to topographies of integrated circuits, rights to trade secrets (know-how), the right to the means of individualization of legal entities, goods, works, services and businesses, rights of use of results of intellectual activity.

Arbitration courts settle cases on challenging affecting the rights and legitimate interests of individuals in the field of business and other economic activities of non-legislative acts, decisions and actions (inactions) of bodies exercising public authority, and their officials.

Constitutional (charter) courts of the Russian Federation consider the question of compliance of laws of the Russian Federation, regulations of normative legal acts of state bodies, municipal legal acts established in the territory of the Russian Federation according to the norms of the law on respective constitutional (charter) court.

The European Court of Human Rights, as an international tribunal, established in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, may receive applications from any person, governmental organization or group of individuals claiming to be a victim of a violation by the State of their rights recognized in the Convention or the Protocols thereto. Appeals are possible if the wrongdoing State is a party to the rights of this contract and signed and ratified by appropriate protocols. The list of protocols signed and ratified by the Russian Federation is available here.

The Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted in 1966, deals with individual complaints of citizens of countries that have signed the Optional Protocol, among which Russia is. The Pact covers a wide range of civil and political rights such as the right to life, the right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of expression, equality before the law and prohibition of discrimination. Individual rights that can be defended in the Committee are listed in Articles 6 to 27 inclusive, which are incorporated under Part III of the Covenant. The mechanism for bringing complaints against alleged violations of these articles is provided in the first Optional Protocol to the Covenant, a separate treaty open to States parties to the Covenant. States that have become parties to the Optional Protocol recognize the competence of the Human Rights Committee (a group of 18 independent experts that meets three times a year) to receive complaints from persons under its authority for alleged violations of rights under the Covenant.

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted on 21 December 1965, imposes on Member States, including the Russian Federation, a number of obligations in order to ensure legal and practical enjoyment of the right to be free from racial discrimination. The Convention is a special treaty, which examines in detail a wide range of issues that arise in this area. The main obligations are set out in Articles 1 to 7 of the Convention, which are incorporated in Part I of the treaty. Russia has made a declaration under article 14 recognizing the competence of the CERD Committee (a group of 18 independent experts that meets twice a year) to examine individual and group complaints about alleged violations of their rights under the Convention by that State (in order to get more detailed information on the Committee on the Elimination of racial discrimination.

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted on 10 December 1984 This treaty prohibits torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as among other liabilities requires that States parties are not returning people to countries where there are substantial grounds for believing that they are being subjected to torture, and requires them to adopt a number of measures to ensure that acts of torture, regardless of where they occurred, are properly investigated and prosecuted . The main obligations are set out in Articles 1 to 16, which are incorporated in Part I of the treaty. The mechanism for making complaints about rights violations, in accordance with the Convention provided for in Article 22. Russia has made a declaration under this article, recognizing the authority of the Committee against Torture (a group of 10 independent experts that meets three times a year) to deal with complaints from persons claiming violations of the state according to their rights under the Convention.

 
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