2020-11-26 16:08:00

Amendments to Russian Family Code affirming supremacy of Constitution, 'moral fundamentals' over int'l law pass 1st reading in State Duma

Moscow, November 26, Interfax - The presidential bill from the package presented in furtherance of the constitutional amendments, which declares the supremacy of the Russian Constitution and moral fundamentals over international law, has passed the first reading in the State Duma.

At the moment, the Family Code recognizes the supremacy of international law over Russian family norms and regulations unless they are mutually contradictory. The presidential bill specifies and augments the norm with the provision, according to which the rules laid down by an international agreement shall not apply in an interpretation that contravenes the Russian Constitution and "fundamentals of law, order, and morality". The contradiction can be fixed in the procedure prescribed by the constitutional law.

"The reason why fundamentals of law, order, and morality are mentioned in this article besides the Russian Constitution is that family relations are a special area of legal regulation, where moral values prevail," the bill's explanatory note said.

Pavel Krasheninnikov, the president's official representative in the discussion of the bill in both chambers of the Russian parliament and head of the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation, explained the meaning of the "morality" category in the bill at the State Duma's plenary meeting.

The innovation will remove a number of contradictions between Russian laws and international agreements, including the issue of same-sex marriages, he said.

There is a possibility of legal collisions arising from Russia's international agreement with countries, "which recognize such marriages," Krasheninnikov said. He noted that such collisions had already been reported from Russian multifunctional centers in the course of registration procedures.

"This wording has been introduced on purpose; of course, we have knowingly done so and said [the exception applies] not only to international agreements, in contrast to other codes [amendments have been made to a number of other Russian codes to declare the supremacy of the Constitution over international laws]," Krasheninnikov said.

"There are a number of Constitutional Court rulings to this end, so this is an absolutely legal category, which exists both in legislation and in court practices," he said

The press service of the State Duma Committee on State Building and Legislation noted that the Russian Constitutional Court will decide whether there is a disagreement between an international agreement, for one part, and Russia's Constitution and "fundamentals of law, order, and morality," on the other.