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The Constitution of the Russian Federation () was adopted by national referendum on .
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
's constitution came into force on , at the moment of its official publication, and abolished the Soviet system of government. The current Constitution is the second most long-lived in the history of Russia, behind the Constitution of 1936. The text was drafted by the 1993 Constitutional Conference, which was attended by over 800 participants.
Sergei AlexeyevSergei Sergeyevich Alexeyev (28 July 1924 – 12 May 2013) was a Russian legal scholar and politician. He was the first and only chair of the USSR Committee for Constitutional Supervision (in 1990-1991). Later, he was one of the authors of the Consti ...
,
Sergey Shakhray Sergey Mikhaylovich Shakhray (russian: Серге́й Михайлович Шахрай) (born April 30, 1956, in Simferopol, Crimea, Soviet Union) is a Russian politician. He is a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. He gra ...
, and sometimes
Anatoly Sobchak Anatoly Aleksandrovich Sobchak ( rus, Анатолий Александрович Собчак, p=ɐnɐˈtolʲɪj ɐlʲɪˈksandrəvʲɪtɕ sɐpˈtɕak; 10 August 1937 – 19 February 2000) was a Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Росси ...

Anatoly Sobchak
are considered as the primary co-authors of the constitution. The text was inspired by
Mikhail Speransky Count Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky (russian: Михаи́л Миха́йлович Спера́нский; 12 January 1772 – 23 February 1839) was a Russian reformist during the reign of Alexander I of Russia Alexander I (; – ) was the Emp ...

Mikhail Speransky
's constitutional project and the current
French constitution The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and it replaced the Constitution of the Fourth Republic, of 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in ...
. The
USAID The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in differen ...
-funded lawyers also contributed to the development of draft. It replaced the previous
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
-era Constitution of , of the
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (Russian SFSR or RSFSR; rus, links=1, Росси́йская Сове́тская Федерати́вная Социалисти́ческая Респу́блика, Rossíyskaya Sovétskaya ...
(which had already been amended in April 1992 to reflect the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the sovereignty of the Russian Federation), following the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis.


Structure

The constitution is divided into two sections.


Section One

#Fundamentals of the Constitutional System #Rights and Liberties of Man and Citizen #Federative system #Judiciary #Local Self-Government #Constitutional Amendments and Revisions


Section Two

#Concluding and Transitional Provisions


Provisions

Especially on human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Constitution provides for human rights and freedoms of citizens according to the universally recognised principles and norms of
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
as well as to their listing in the Constitution. (It affirms that the listing in the Constitution of the Russian Federation of the fundamental rights and freedoms shall not be interpreted as a rejection and derogation of other universally recognised human rights and freedoms.)


Executive

The Constitution of the Russian Federation specifies that the President is the Russian head of state, setting domestic and foreign policy and representing Russia both within the country and internationally rticle 80 While th
original constitution
stipulated a four-year term and a maximum of two terms in succession, the current constitution decrees a six-year term. The four-year term was in effect while
Vladimir Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, (born 7 October 1952) is a Russian politician and former intelligence officer who is serving as the current president of Russia. He has been serving in this position since 2012, and he previously held this of ...

Vladimir Putin
served his first and second terms; with the two-term limit, he was barred from the presidency in 2008. Instead, he served as Prime Minister while
Dmitry Medvedev Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; rus, links=no, Дмитрий Анатольевич Медведев, p=ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician serving as Deputy Chairman of ...

Dmitry Medvedev
served as president for four years. Putin was re-elected to his third term in 2012; with the six-year term, he was elected to his fourth term in 2018. Article 81 specifies the method of election, including a secret ballot; Articles 82–93 detail powers, responsibilities, and limitations of the presidency. The constitution provides for a "strong presidency"; not only is the president the "Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", the president also has the power to dissolve the
State Duma The State Duma ( rus, Госуда́рственная ду́ма, r=Gosudárstvennaya dúma), commonly abbreviated in Russian as Gosduma ( rus, Госду́ма), is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to ...
.


Legislative branch

The legislature is the Federal Assembly of Russia, which consists of two chambers: the State Duma (the lower house) and the Federation Council (the upper house). The two chambers possess different powers and responsibilities: the State Duma is of more significance, as it carries the main responsibility for passing federal laws. Although a bill may originate in either legislative chamber (or be submitted by the President, government, local legislatures, Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, or High Arbitration Court), it must be first considered by the State Duma and be adopted by a majority vote before being turned over to the Federation Council, which has 14 days to take a vote on it. If the bill is adopted by the Federation Council, it must be signed by the President to become law. If rejected by the Federation Council, the bill will be returned to the State Duma, which can then override the council's rejection by passing it again with a two-thirds vote in the same form. The President has a final veto, but the State Duma and Federation Council also have an overriding power by passing with a two-thirds vote.


Judiciary

While the Russian Federation Constitution enumerates a strong and independent judicial branch, the reality is a question of debate. The constitution provides for judicial immunity, lifetime appointments/"irremovable" justices, the supremacy of the courts to administer justice, and affirms that judges need only submit to the constitution and the federal law. Additionally, Article 123 provides for open and fair trials, as well as equal application of the law. Three courts are delineated: Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, and the Higher Arbitration Court; each court is "appointed by the Council of the Federation upon the proposals by the President." The Constitution requires 19 judges for the Constitution Court, but does not specify the number of justices for the other courts. As of 2002, the Supreme Court has 115 members; due to the expansion of duties in 2014, the number of seats was increased to 170. In September 2014, the Institute of Modern Russia reported that the Russian Federation's Supreme Arbitration Court had been dissolved and that judicial matters previously under its authority had been transferred to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.


Amending the Constitution

The procedure for amending the Constitution is outlined in Chapter Nine. Proposals on amendments to and revision of the provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation may be submitted by the President of the Russian Federation, the Council of Federation, the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation, legislative (representative) bodies of constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and by groups consisting of not less than one fifth of the members of the Council of Federation or of the deputies of the State Duma. __Article 137 covers updating the provisions of Article 65 of the Constitution of Russia. An update regarding the change of the name of the subject of the Russian Federation is carried out by a decree of the President of Russia on bringing the name of the subject of the Russian Federation in the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation in accordance with the decision of the subject of the Russian Federation. An update regarding changes in the subject composition of the Russian Federation is carried out in accordance with the federal constitutional law on the admission to the Russian Federation and the formation of a new constituent entity of the Russian Federation, on changes in the constitutional and legal status of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, which should contain an indication of the inclusion of relevant changes or additions to Article 65 of the Constitution of Russia. Article 136 covers updating the provisions of chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the Constitution of Russia. An update is carried out in the form of a special act: a law of the Russian Federation on amendments to the Constitution, which is adopted by the parliament similarly to the federal constitutional law, but then also requires ratification by the legislative bodies of the constituent entities of the Federation. Moreover, one law of the Russian Federation on the amendment to the Constitution covers interrelated changes to the constitutional text; the law itself receives a name reflecting the essence of this amendment. Article 135 covers updating the provisions of chapters 1, 2, and 9 of the Constitution of Russia. An update to any of these chapters is considered a revision of the Constitution's fundamental provisions, which is possible only through the adoption of the new Constitution of the Russian Federation by the Russian Constitutional Assembly or by popular vote.


2008 amendments

The amendments of 2008, which were proposed in November 2008 and came into force on 31 December 2008, are the first substantial amendments to the Constitution of Russia of 1993David Nowak
Putin's return? Russian parliament may allow it
''
Associated Press The Associated Press (AP) is an American non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, publ ...

Associated Press
'', 6 November 2008.
and extended the terms of the
President of Russia The President of the Russian Federation ( rus, Президент Российской Федерации, Prezident Rossiyskoy Federatsii), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (pl ...
and the
State Duma The State Duma ( rus, Госуда́рственная ду́ма, r=Gosudárstvennaya dúma), commonly abbreviated in Russian as Gosduma ( rus, Госду́ма), is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to ...
from four to six and five years, respectively. Earlier only minor adjustments concerning the naming of the
federal subjects The federal subjects of Russia, also referred to as the subjects of the Russian Federation (russian: субъекты Российской Федерации, subyekty Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or simply as the subjects of the federation (russian: ...
or their merging were made, which require a much simpler procedure.


February 2014 amendments


July 2014 amendments

On March 21, 2014, Federal Constitutional Law No. 6 «On the
Adoption Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting Parenting or child rearing promotes and supports the physical fitness, physical, emotional, Social change, social, and intellectual development of a child from infant, infancy to ...
of the
Republic of Crimea The Republic of Crimea (, , ), translit. Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script to another that involves swapping Letter (alphabet), letters (thus ''wikt:trans-#Prefix, trans-'' + ''wikt:littera#Latin, liter-'') ...
into the Russian Federation and the Formation of New Subjects within the Russian Federation - the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of
Sevastopol Sevastopol (Russian, Ukrainian: Севастополь); is the largest city in Crimea Crimea (; ; uk, Крим, Krym; crh, Къырым, translit=Kirim/Qırım; grc, Κιμμερία/Ταυρική, translit=Kimmería/Taurikḗ) ...

Sevastopol
» was adopted.


2020 amendments

The amendments of 2020 remove the "in a row" clause from the article regulating the maximum number of presidential terms, discounting previous presidential terms before the amendment enters into force. Other changes are recognition of Russia as a successor to the Soviet Union in relationship to international organizations, treaties, and assets of the USSR stipulated by international treaties outside the territory Russian Federation, banning ceding Russian territory, diminishing the accomplishments by the "defenders of the fatherland" and their role in World War II is no longer allowed, and enshrining God and heterosexual marriage in the constitution. Other amendments would enshrine the role of the Russian language as that of "state forming people", a constitutional reference to God and giving statutory backing to the
State CouncilState Council may refer to: Government * State Council of the Republic of Korea, the national cabinet of South Korea, headed by the President of South Korea, President * State Council of the People's Republic of China, the national cabinet and ch ...
. From 25 June to 1 July 2020, a nationwide vote took place, with 78% of voters voting in favor of the amendments with a turnout of 65%, according to official results. Putin signed an executive order on 3 July 2020 to officially insert the amendments into the Russian Constitution - they took effect on 4 July 2020.Vladimir Puti
Putin signing amendments into law
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See also


Former constitutions

*
October Manifesto 300px, ''Demonstration 17 October 1905'' by Ilya Repin(Russian Museum. St. Petersburg) The October Manifesto (russian: Октябрьский манифест, Манифест 17 октября), officially "The Manifesto on the Improvement of th ...
(1905) *
Russian Constitution of 1906 The Russian Constitution of 1906 refers to a major revision of the 1832 Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire The Russian Empire, . commonly referred to as Imperial Russia, was a historical empire that extended across Eurasia and North Americ ...
*
Decree on the system of government of Russia (1918) The Decree on the system of government of Russia. was a basis of the new constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation An ...
*
Soviet Russia Constitution of 1918 The constitution of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1918, also called the Basic Law (Основной закон, ''Osnovnoy zakon'') which governed the Russian Soviet Republic, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, de ...
* Act on the establishment of the All-Russian supreme power (1918) *
1924 Constitution of the Soviet Union The 1924 Constitution of the Soviet Union was the constitution of the Soviet Union The Constitutions of the Soviet Union were three versions of the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) in effect from 31 January 1 ...
*
1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union The 1936 Constitution of the Soviet Union, also known as the Stalin Constitution, was the constitution of the Soviet Union The Constitutions of the Soviet Union were three versions of the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ( ...
* 1978 Russian Constitution


Others

* 2008 amendments to the Constitution of Russia * 2020 amendments to the Constitution of Russia *
Constitution of the Soviet Union The Constitutions of the Soviet Union were three versions of the constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union) in effect from 31 January 1924 to 26 December 1991. Chronology of Soviet constitutions These three constitutio ...
*
Constitutional economics A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
*
Constitutionalism Constitutionalism is "a compound of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law". Political organizations are constitutional ...

Constitutionalism
* Impeachment in Russia *
Institute of State and Law Headquarters in Moscow. The Institute of State and Law (ISL) of the Russian Academy of Sciences The Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS; russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к (РАН) ''Rossíiskaya akadémiya naúk'') cons ...
*
Law of the Russian Federation The primary and fundamental statement of laws in the Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by ar ...


Notes


References

* * *Partlett, William. The Dangers of Popular Constitution-Making, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Volume 38, 193-238 (2012). Available at https://ssrn.com/abstract=1924958.


External links


Text of the Russian constitution translated in English
on Constituteproject.org

– from the official website of the Government of the Russian Federation
Text of the Russian constitution translated in English
- archived from an official website of the Government of the Russian Federation

with the Russian text and unofficial translations to English, German, and French
Amendments to the Russian Constitution

Information about the Russian Constitution

Information about the Russian Constitution

Manuel b.Garcia AlvarezOnly foreign expert
{{Russia topics
1993 1993 was designated as: * International Year for the World's Indigenous People The year 1993 in the Kwajalein Atoll Kwajalein Atoll (; Marshallese language, Marshallese: ) is part of the Marshall Islands, Republic of the Marshall Island ...
1993 in law 1993 in Russia Government of Russia History of Russia (1992–present) December 1993 events in Russia