CCR №2 (141) 2021
Constitutionalization of the principle of respect for elders: the experience of the 2020 constitutional amendments, their content and implementation problems

The full text of the article is available only in Russian.


The article is devoted to the study of a number of problems related to the regulation and implementation of the principle of respect for elders, which is new for the constitutional law of Russia. The author substantiates the position that the problem of constitutionalization of the principle of respect for elders should be posed wider, at least outside the boundaries of strictly educational activities and in the broader context of the paradigm of the hierarchy of seniority in the system of fundamental principles of constitutionalism. The principle of “respect for elders” is opposed by the stable constitutional practice of Russia and foreign countries guaranteeing at the constitutional level, on the one hand, the rights of parents (mothers, fathers) and the elderly, and on the other, children and youth. Parents and the elderly do indeed enjoy the constitutional right to special respect as a kind of “elder”, but this does not give grounds for a broad interpretation of the constitutional status of all other members of society. The author proves that, in fact, the constitutional imperative of “respect for elders” is an attempt, albeit relatively “soft” in the legal sense (without legal consequences and in the absence of a clear definition of the rights and obligations of subjects of legal relations), to introduce into the life of a free civil society a kind of disciplinary-subordination beginning in relationships between older and younger people. Moving up the age ladder supposedly should give a certain increase in subjective rights. However, to what extent is this permissible in a constitutional state and a democratic society? And does this really correspond to the prevailing socio-cultural stereotypes of social behavior of the modern generation of Russians? According to the author, in the construction of “respect for elders”, an indication of the sign of seniority is of key importance. The term “respect” is not entirely accurate, since without significant distortion of the meaning it could be replaced with the words “special recognition”, “subordination”, “emphasized correct behavior”, etc. By virtue of Article 21 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, all people are obliged to respect each other as people, they are legally stimulated in equal measure to recognize the value of their human dignity.

About the author:
Pavel Astafichev — Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor, Department of Constitutional and International Law, Saint Petersburg University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Astafichev P. (2021) Konstitutsionalizatsiya printsipa uvazheniya k starshim: opyt konstitutsionnykh popravok 2020 goda, ikh soderzhanie i problemy realizatsii [Constitutionalization of the principle of respect for elders: the experience of the 2020 constitutional amendments, their content and implementation problems]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol.30, no.2, pp.180–191. (In Russian).


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