No referendum required to amend Russia’s Constitution – rights advocate
MOSCOW, January 17 (RAPSI) – The renewal of the Constitution proposed by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin requires neither a referendum, nor convening of the Constitutional Assembly, a member of the Presidential Council of Human Rights Alexander Brod has stated.
He believes that the use of such instruments will be superfluous since the proposals do not concern certain provisions of the Constitution protected by these procedural requirements.
The rights advocate insists that amendments, after being formulated, are to be elaborated in the framework of a broad discussion and later, corrected if necessary, voted for. The voting process is to be controlled by public associations, Brod says, for what civic oversight mechanisms are to be put in place. The procedure is to be made transparent, clear, and accessible, it shall be most broadly publicized, the rights advocate stresses.
Brod’s stand has been supported by lawyer Dmitry Agranovsky, who notes that although a referendum remains an option in case the authorities find it necessary, the measure is not required by law.
As concerns the priority of the Constitution over international law, Agranovsky says, in this Russia follows the example of many developed countries, including U.S.A. and China. He believes this proposed change will not affect the work of the European Court of Human Rights and the application of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights in the territory of Russia, in what Brod agrees with the lawyer.