Constitution of Russia

Constitution of Russia
Constitution of Russia
Presidential copy of the Constitution.
Presidential copy of the Constitution.
Ratified 12 December 1993
Signatories Citizens of Russia
For the constitution of the Imperial Russia, see Russian Constitution of 1906

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The current Constitution of the Russian Federation (Russian: Конституция Российской Федерации; pronounced [kənsʲtʲɪˈtutsɨjə rɐˈsʲijskəj fʲɪdʲɪˈratsɨɪ]) was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993. Russia's constitution came into force on 25 December 1993, at the moment of its official publication. It replaced the previous Soviet-era Constitution of 12 April 1978 of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic following the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis.

Of all registered voters, 58,187,755 people (or 54.8%) participated in the referendum. Of those, 32,937,630 people (54.5%) voted for adoption of the Constitution.[1]


Declaration of adoption

Dmitry Medvedev takes the presidential oath with his hand resting on the Constitution, 7 May 2008.

"We, the multinational people of the Russian Federation, united by a common fate on our land, establishing human rights and freedoms, civic peace and accord, preserving the historically established state unity, proceeding from the universally recognized principles of equality and self-determination of peoples, revering the memory of ancestors who have conveyed to us the love for the Motherland, belief in the good and justice, reviving the sovereign statehood of Russia and asserting the firmness of its democratic base, striving to ensure the well-being and prosperity of Russia, proceeding from the responsibility for our Motherland before the present and future generations, recognizing ourselves as part of the world community, adopt the Constitution of the Russian Federation."


The constitution is divided into two sections.

Section One

  1. Fundamentals of the Constitutional System
  2. Rights and Liberties of Man and Citizen
  3. Federative system
  4. President of the Russian Federation
  5. Federal Assembly
  6. Government of the Russian Federation
  7. Judiciary
  8. Local Self-Government
  9. Constitutional Amendments and Revisions

Section Two

  1. Concluding and Transitional Provisions


The Russian Constitution has entrenched world standarts for human rights and basic principles of democratic state-building such as ideological neutrality of the state, political pluralism, competitive elections and seperation of powers. The constitution establishes a super-presidential system, resembling the French system but with stronger executive power due to the increased independence of the president in comparison to the French model.[2]

Presidential powers

The President of the Russian Federation holds primary power in the Russian government system. The President who is elected fpr a six year term, is the head of state and the Supreme Commander in Chief.[3] He determines "guidlines for the domestic and foreign policy of the state". Although the President may preside over Government meetings, he is not the head of the Russian Government. As the head of the state the President appoints the members of the Government and directs it's activities. While in general the presidential "direction" of the activities of the Government is limitied to establishing guidlines, under the 1997 Constitutional Law on the Government the President has a special authority over ministries dealing with defense, security, internal and foreign affairs.

Legislative Branch

Internal checks and balances within the legislative power work through the procedure of the Federation Council's reviewing of the laws adopted by the State Duma and giving it's consent to them. In the case of the bill rejection by the Federation Council, the State Duma in it's turn may override the rejection by a two thirds vote. The legislative branch may check the presidential power of the Russian Federation through hearing the addresses of the President by both houses of the Federal Assembly; giving approval to the decree of the president on the introduction of martial law and state of emergency; granting consent to the president for the appointment of the chairman of the government, the chairman of the Central Bank, the Procourator General, members of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and more.

See also


  1. ^ Constitution of Russia: nature, evolution, modernity 1.4.2 National character. (Russian)
  2. ^ Andrea Chandler, "Presidential Veto Power in Post Communist Russia, 1994-1998", Canadian Journal of Political Science
  3. ^ Articles 80 (1), 81 (1), 87 (1) of the Constitution of Russia

External links

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