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Judges of Constitutional Court Are Deprived of the Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech

Judges of Constitutional Court Are Deprived of the Constitutional Right to Freedom of Speech
05.12.2009

Judicial council of the Russian Federation accepted today rejection of the judge of Constitutional court Vladimir Yaroslavtsev. At the same time one more judge of Constitutional Court Anatoly Kononov laid down powers ahead of schedule and the judge Vladimir Yaroslavtsev was dismissed from the structure of Judicial council of the Russian Federation. As one of the participants of the session of Judicial council passing in Moscow informed, the decision about dismissal of Yaroslavtsev and Kononov from the Council structure would be accepted in the near future. Other source explained ITAR-TASS that charges in infringement of judicial ethics became the reason of such decision as Yaroslavtsev in the interview to one of the newspapers stated a number of judgements containing criticism of judicial system of the Russian Federation.

On August, 31st Mister Yaroslavtsev gave interview to the Spanish newspaper El Pais under the headline "Security Service Rules in Russia as in the Soviet Period". In particular, he declared that "judicial power in Russia during presidency of Vladimir Putin and his successor Dmitry Medvedev turned to the tool to serve executive power", "legislature is paralyzed", "decision-making centre is in the Presidential Administration".

"I feel being among justice ruins", - Yaroslavtsev admitted to the Spanish newspaper, having sharply having scarified thus definition of Constitutional Court accepted the day before about refusal in processing of complaint of journalist Natalia Morar whom FSB forbade to enter Russia. Vladimir Yaroslavtsev who voted against the decision declared El Pais that "profanation of justice" meaning that "security service can do what it wants and courts have only to confirm only their decisions". 

On a closed plenum of the panel of judges, for the first time in history of Constitutional Court, Yaroslavtsev was accused of infringement of the Code of judicial ethics and the law "About Status of Judges" ordering the judges "to avoid everything that can belittle authority of judicial authority" and also "to call in question outside the limits of professional work decisions of courts which entered validity and to criticise professional actions of colleagues".

Disagreed with opinion of colleagues Anatoly Kononov declared in the interview to the newspaper "Interlocutor" under the headline "There Are No Independent Judges in Russia" that "Yaroslavtsev was "whipped" in the best traditions "on our plenum". Besides, he called the presidential bill approved in summer which replaced election of chairman of Constitutional Court and his assistants with the judges themselves for the procedure of their appointment by Council of the Federation on representation of the president "not very democratic and disrespectful to Constitutional Court". 

- I will only remind, - editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk Anatoly Baranov said, - that the Constitution still operates in the Russian Federation, it seems because of some oversight of the authorities, there's in it the article number 29 which says that, firstly, "everyone is guaranteed freedom of thought and speech" and secondly - "nobody can be forced to expression of own opinions and views or refusal of them". As we understand, if some items of the law "About Status of Judges" or the Code of judicial ethics contradict to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, they are void from the moment of their acceptance and are subjected to cancellation. Naturally, any casuistry in the given case is inappropriate, the constitutional norm is simple and direct as a sleeper. However Constitutional Court thinks, for some reason, differently and two judges of this court who could somehow express their opinion are desmissed now from the structure of this body. Poor Russia, what else could be said here...

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