25 Years of Struggle: The Russian Constitution

Panel discussion in cooperation with inforadio

in German

with Alexander Blankenagel (HU Berlin), Jurij Starilov (Voronezh State University) and Christian Schaich (ZOiS)

© Sputnik / Alamy Stock Photo

Russia’s present Constitution has been adopted on 12 December 1993 in a referendum. It is intended to serve as the basic legal framework for the functioning of state and society in Russia.

This event will start with a brief introduction to the Constitution’s evolution and will then look at basic constitutional rights and their realisation in daily life. The inclusion of liberal basic rights in the Constitution marked a break with the socialist conception of the law. Which basic rights are recognised in the Constitution? How is the system of basic rights structured? How have they evolved in constitutional practice? And how have they been influenced over the years by the President, the legislature (Duma), the executive (government) and, last but not least, the judiciary, with the Constitutional Court at the forefront? Headline-grabbing cases such as Pussy Riot and the crackdown on demonstrators at Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square are familiar to everyone. But what about the “silent” rights, such as economic rights, which were intended to be a key driver of reform in a post-Soviet society that has renounced the planned economy? Have they performed the function assigned to them? In short, is there a robust system of basic rights in Russia? This panel discussion aims to provide some answers.

If you require sign language interpretation, please let us know two weeks ahead of the event by emailing events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de.


Prof Alexander Blankenagel is Professor for Public, Russian and Comparative Law at Humboldt University, Berlin.

Prof Jurij Starilov is Professor at the Faculty of Law of the Voronezh State University in Russia.

Dr Christian Schaich is the Administrative Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS).