Recent Constitutional Change in Russia: Neither Constitutional, nor Democratic

The paper addresses the issue of recent Russian constitutional amendments, and focuses on their procedural, rather than substantive dimension. It analyses the way the proposed amendments were announced, the time frame and the manner in which they are supposed to crystallise into constitutional provisions. The Venice Commission opined that the procedures of constitutional change should not be “open to controversy”, “applied too hastily” and “without democratic discourse”, because any of these “may undermine … the legitimacy of the constitution itself”. The author claims that the ongoing amendment process has been tainted by all of the mentioned pitfalls: starting with the obvious intention to circumvent the existing procedures and finishing with the idea to conduct the public vote on amendments.