Russia vs international sanctions. Act 3

Back in July 2020, and as commented in my previous note, the renewed Russian Constitution implied certain additional authorities to be granted to the Russian Constitutional Court aiming at prevention of enforcement of international court rulings which are non compliant with Russian Constutution (public order).

Here we go — a bill introducing referring authorities of the Russian Constitutional Court passed its third hearing with Russian State Duma on October 27th, 2020[1].

It introduces the authorities of the Russian Constitutional Court to rule on possibility of enforcement of decision of a foreign or international court, foreign or international arbitration, setting obligations of the Russian Federation, in case such decision contradicts the «public order» of the Russian Federation.

According to the bill:

  • respective queries can be submitted to the Russian Constitutional Court by the President of the Russian Federation, by the Russian Government and by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation;

The latter, in my opinion, will serve as an instrument to overrule or object implementation of sanctions related decisions in Russia.

  • such queries can be made in the event of » the discovered uncertainty with regard to possibility of implementation (enforcement) of decision of a foreign or international court, foreign or international arbitration, setting obligations of the Russian Federation«;
  • as for the “setting obligations of the Russian Federation” – it is further developed in the bill, as “imposing obligations on Russia directly, or indirectly, through putting obligations on stating authorities or “organizations belonging to the Russian Federation”;

I assume you already know the Russian national «champs», who are mostly affected by the international trade restrictions.

  • in case recognized as impossible for enforcement (execution) in Russia by the Russian Constitutional Court , any acts aimed at  implementation (enforcement) of decision of a foreign or international court, foreign or international arbitration can’t take place (be undertaken).

Additionally,  another bill was introduced to the Russian State Duma  to “bring the Russian proceedings Codes in compliance with the recent amendments to the Constitution”[2].

It is aimed to supplement the provisions of the Russian Commercial(Arbitrage), Civil and Administrative Codes, stating the possibility of application of international treaties to the Russian state courts, by the paragraph as follows:

Implementation of rules of international treaties in their interpretation contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation is not allowed. Such contradiction can be ascertained in the manner set by the Russian Federal Constitutional Law” [i.e. by the law on extension of related Russian Constitutional Court authorities].

Both bills were introduced by the Russian President, in development of the amendments to the Constitution this summer, which signals the high probability they will be implemented.


[1] https://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/1024643-7

[2] https://sozd.duma.gov.ru/bill/1036240-7



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