CCR №6(121) 2017
Freedom of assembly in Russia: system defects of law and political and legal practices

Abstract
The 2011 elections to the Russian State Duma served as a catalyst for a massive protest movement that was critical to the acting political regime and that took the form of various public activities. This article considers the legal aspects of enforcing the freedom of assembly in the Russian Federation. An in-depth analysis of key issues regarding the application of the legislation on public activities is provided. These issues include: the unlimited discretion of municipalities in agreeing to the terms for conducting public activities; the opportunity to consider practically any expression of civil activity as an unsanctioned public activity; the ban on conducting public activities in places defined by the federal legislature and legislatures of the subjects of the Russian Federation; the excessive limits for organizers of public organizations; the excessive responsibility for violating the legislation on public activities; the impossibility of ensuring an effective protection for the right to conduct a public activity; and, finally, the fictitious criminalization of multiple violations for organizing public meetings. Comparing normative foundations for regulating constitutional law and conducting peaceful meetings and the practice of applying Russian legal norms, as well as legal acts of the European Court of Human Rights and recommendations of international organizations such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Venice Commission, the author comes to the conclusion that state control over conducting public activities in the Russian Federation is excessive and redundant. This article formulates conclusions on the constitutional and legal defects and gaps in the legal regulation of the right to conduct peaceful meetings. This article also contains the author’s proposals for improving the legislation on public activities.

About the author
Andrey Kondrashеv – Doctor of Sciences in Law, Professor, Law Institute of Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

Citation
Kondrashеv A. (2017) Svoboda sobraniy v Rossii: sistemnye defekty i politiko-pravovaya praktika [Freedom of assembly in Russia: system defects of law and political and legal practices]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.6, pp.24–44. (In Russian).

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Issue articles