Russian Constitution prioritized over international law

Russian Constitution prioritized over international law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed bills into law elevating a low-profile advisory body known as the State Council, criminalizing secession and prioritizing the Russian Constitution over international law. The documents were published Tuesday on the official portal of legal information.

Amendments are introduced in several Russian codes and 115 Russian laws.

The new law defines the State Council as a constitutional state body formed by the head of state to ensure the coordinated work of government, determine key domestic and foreign policy areas, as well as social and economic development priorities. The State Council is composed of regional governors and top federal officials. 

Before a last-minute proposal this spring that allows him to ignore current constitutional limits and run for two more six-year presidential terms, analysts had predicted that Putin could remain at the helm as head of the State Council after his current term limit expires in 2024.

Another high-profile law Putin signed Tuesday gives prison terms of up to 10 years for giving away parts of Russian territory and fines for public calls toward territorial concessions.

Finally, Putin signed a law formally giving precedence to Russian law over international treaties that contradict the new Russian Constitution. Rights advocates have raised concerns that the law could erode rights and freedoms in Russia, whose citizens have for years sought justice they say they are denied at home in Europe’s human rights court, The Moscow Times reported.

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