Constitution of Russia

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Constitution of Russia is the fifth and current Constitution of the Russian Federation, which came into force in December 1993, and was drawn up to replace the 1978 document. In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree requesting that the Constituent Assembly drafted a new Constitution version.

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The primary purpose for replacing it was because of the changes to the Russian Constitution system after it became an independent country following its break up from the Soviet Union in 1991. The Constitution defines Russia as a democratic republic with a political system based on the separation of powers between three branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary. Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, signed a measure that amended the Russian Federation Constitution in April 2021. This action has repercussions for relations between Russia and numerous nations around the world as well as for the larger Eurasian area.

Constitution of Russia – Significance

The new Constitution proved helpful in improving Russia’s political and economic situation after it became an independent country in 1991. It declared that Russia is a democratic republic with a strong separation of powers between legislative, executive, and judiciary branches.

  • Defining Russia as a democratic republic with an independent political system based on a separation of powers between three branches is helpful since these are the essential elements of its political system.
  • Consequently, the new Constitution guarantees various democratic rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and protection by law against arbitrary interference in private life. It also guarantees various social and economic rights such as the right to work, healthcare, education, and housing.
  • The Constitution specifies that the international acts of the Russian Federation must not contradict those of the Russian Constitution unless they are ratified by federal law.

Salient Features of the Russian Constitution

The highest body of governing legislation in the Russian Federation is the Constitution.

  • It specifies the fundamental components of the Russian Federation’s constitutional structure, the state system, the creation of representative, executive, and judicial authorities, the system of local self-government, and the federation’s human and civil rights and freedoms.
  • After the Soviet Union fell apart in December 1993, the Russian people voted to adopt the country’s current constitution.
  • Russia is a democratic, federal, republican state with the rule of law, according to the Constitution.
  • In Russia, which is a multiparty democracy, the Prime Minister’s administration has executive authority.
  • However, the President serves as the head of state and holds the position of greatest power.
  • The people directly elect the President. However, the President appoints the Prime Minister rather than the people electing him directly.
  • Additionally, legislation is passed by the parliament. It consists of an upper house and a lower house (State Duma) (Federation Council).

Constitution of India vs. the Constitution of Russia

The comparison between the constitution of India and Russia has been tabulated below;

Constitution of India

Constitution of Russia

The Indian Constitution specifies that the country will be a sovereign, socialist, democratic republic.

The Russian Constitution states that Russia is a sovereign, democratic republic with a strong separation of powers between three branches.

The Indian Constitution defines the country’s purpose and governs its functions, duties, and responsibilities.

The Constitutional Amendments in Russia only briefly mention the country’s purpose but do not govern its roles, obligations, and responsibilities.

The Indian Constitution has proven useful to administrate the country as it contains various federal laws that govern different areas in which India is involved.

In Russian Constitution, Constitution has proved useful to administrate the country because of its reference to international acts that include those of other countries.

The Indian Constitution is written in ordinary language

The Russian Constitution is written in legal language.

The Indian Constitution ensures freedom and guaranteed rights and liberties such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, etc.

The Russian Constitution imposes restrictions on the same rights and freedoms.

A majority vote chooses the Prime Minister.

The Federation Council appoints the President of Russia after being elected by a majority vote from three candidates voted for by party members.

In conclusion, the comparison between the Indian and Russian constitutions is a good source for comparative law since it is the primary source for constitutional laws in both countries.

The Russian government and its people have to be aware of the issues that Russia will have to face shortly since these can significantly impact Russia’s domestic policies and foreign policies that might affect other countries like India.

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