1.1. General description and key data of the constitutional system

Russian Constitution currently in force, was adopted after disintegration of USSR by the Assembly of elected representatives in 1993. According to Constitution Russia is the federal state with the republican form of government. Russian Federation (RF) unites subjects of Federation: republics (i.e. regions, where dominates some non-Russian nationality), territories (krais - largest regions), oblasts (majority of regions) and two cities of federal importance (Moscow and St-Petersburg), which by Constitution are equitable RF subjects. RF subjects according to Constitution and essential principles stipulated by federal legislation establish by regional laws systems of their representative and executive bodies. Republics have their constitutions and legislation, other regions - their charters and legislation. The Constitution, which stipulates rights of RF subjects, allows contractual relationships between Federation and its subjects (regions), which however have not got significant development. Key principles inserted at the foundation of Constitution correspond to principles, adopted in countries with developed democracy.

The human rights and freedoms are considered as highest values. According to this principle the Constitution anticipates:

  • multi-party system as a base of political arrangement;
  • freedom of mass-media, associations, political mass-meeting and demonstrations;
  • private property on land and any economic complexes (along with state property and municipal property);
  • housing supply of indigents;
  • right for favorable environment, trustworthy information on environmental conditions and for reparation of damages to parties or persons, whose health or property are aggrieved by violation of ecological legislation.

The Russian country people is considered as the only source of authority. The Constitution stipulates free and general elections of country President, the representatives of legislative bodied at the federal level and representatives at local (municipal) levels.

The state power is divided into independent branches: representative (legislative), executive and judicial ones. The representative bodies include the Federal Assembly and regional representative bodies; executive bodies are represented by the Russian Government, regional heads, governments and sectoral bodies (federal and regional). Judicial power is represented by judicial bodies of different levels and jurisdiction. The municipal level of public bodies is not considered as state power, but as institution of local self-government.

The important stipulations of the Constitution include:

  • right of indemnification caused by actions or negligence of public bodies or their stuff;
  • right of citizens to appeal to transnational organizations, capable to save rights and freedoms, when appeals to Russian responsible bodies do not succeed;
  • priority of international agreements above Russian laws.