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Officials Given Extra Time On Amendments

A proposal is being considered to lengthen time allotted to government officials to correct laws affected by the rulings of the Constitutional Court.

The Ministry of Justice recommended lengthening the time allotted to government officials for “corrective work,” such as preparing implementations of the Constitutional Court’s verdicts and sending existing laws for reexamination in the State Duma.

As it stands now, the government should, in principle, fulfill the Constitutional Court’s requests and reform unconstitutional norms no later than three months after the Court publishes its decision. However, often these three months get stretched out into years. According to suggested changes to Federal Constitutional Law of 21.07.94 N 1-FKS “On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation,” published on the Ministry of Justice’s website, the time limit would be increased to twenty months, three times longer than previously.

The proposed changes would also allow a fast-tracking of sorts for correcting unconstitutional laws: if a corrective law or amendment is introduced to the Duma by an outside source with the right to initiate legislation (such as the president), the duma would only have to support the legislation by publishing an official opinion of it in order for it to come into force.

The current situation concerning carrying out the Constitutional Court’s decisions leaves much to be desired – not long ago, Deputy Justice Minister Alexandr Fedorov revealed that about 40% of the Court’s decisions fail to be implemented. In fact, of the total number of resolutions that the Constitutional Court has published since 2005, about two-thirds of them have not been implemented.

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