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The significance of the Constitution of the Russian Federation was discussed at the Gaidar Forum

16 January2019
The significance of the Constitution of the Russian Federation was discussed at the Gaidar Forum

At the 10th Gaidar Forum, there was a discussion titled “The Constitution of 1993: was there an alternative?”, in which experts discussed the historical basis for adopting the main law of the Russian state, as well as the prospects for its development and possible changes.

The discussion was started by moderator Talia Khabrieva, director of the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation, noting that the subject of the Constitution is the subject matter of extensive discussion and attracts attention: not only lawyers and scholars refer to it and use concepts contained in it, and not only in the context of the anniversary celebrations. She stressed that through the prism of the Constitution, other issues are considered, for example, digital law and the introduction of new relevant laws. “The constitution acts as a criterion for the truth of many judgments,” the moderator concluded.

Mikhail Krotov, Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Constitutional Court, continued the discussion and noted the role of the Constitution as a vector that determines the country's actions at the political level. From his point of view, "the Constitution has a lot of opportunities to solve problems and to stabilize the society." He called the fundamental law of the Russian Federation “valid, with potential for the future” and suggested that the Constitution of Russia “celebrate” more than one anniversary without changes.

Sergey Shakhray, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, turned to the title of the discussion and expressed the opinion that the discussion of alternatives is important only if the decision has not yet been made and the story has not yet been created, which is not applicable to the Constitution representing the basis of Russian legislation for 25 years already. In his opinion, such a period confirms its effectiveness, and its norms are seen as applicable to modern realities. The expert also expressed the opinion that the creation of the Constitution was an attempt to translate the state and society into a new quality, and therefore disrespect for the Constitution is even more dangerous for society than disrespect for the authorities.

The idea of the importance of legal awareness and respect for the Constitution was supported and developed by Igor Bartsits, Director, the Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service, RANEPA. “The people, as a sovereign, should learn constitutional patriotism among other things,” the expert said, noting that training should take place within the framework of school and university education. This opinion was shared by other experts, including Advisor to the Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Pligin, who said in his speech: "The most important thing is that the realization of constitutional rights should be understood as value."

At the end of the discussion, the experts came to the conclusion that the Constitution adopted in 1993 was a value choice of the state and society, and therefore had no significant alternatives. Moderator Talia Khabrieva noted that although no expert calls for even pinpoint revision of the discussion, this does not mean that we should refuse to discuss this significant topic.

Arina Kargina, RANEPA

All records of live broadcasts from the Gaidar Forum 2019

10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.

The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru, Polit.ru, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.

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