The head of the constitutional court of the Russian Federation: protection of human rights should not create a threat to the state
The Chairman of the constitutional court Valery Zorkin believes that the protection of human rights should not pose a threat to state sovereignty and must not undermine the moral foundations and religious identity of the society.
“The protection of human rights should not undermine the moral foundations of society and destroy its religious identity. Ensuring the rights of citizens should not pose a threat to state sovereignty”, – stated in a lecture Zorkin, prepared for the St. Petersburg international legal forum and is published on the website of the constitutional court on may 19.
The lecture also States that “the protection of human dignity must not lead to the abandonment of those moral universals, which are formed once the mankind and which still allowed him to save himself from self-destruction”.
These principles, according to Zorkin, will help to fight the destruction of society, characteristic of the consumer society. “The market needs a mass of consumers, consisting not of socialized individuals, focused on human values, and of the carriers of individual consumer preferences,” he said.
Zorkin considers dangerous for the development of law trends for the separation of man from society, the weakening of social ties, which can be observed at the family level and at the state level.
“I think that it would be wrong, as sometimes proposed, to reduce the solution of this problem to the switch in focus from the protection of the rights of various minorities on the priority protection of the rights of the majority. Although, as the events of 2016, for example, Brexit, the principle of protection of the rights of the majority for a long time ignored by Western societies that are important to them, too,” – said in a lecture the head of the COP.
Zorkin made his lectures at the VII St. Petersburg international legal forum on may 18. The forum is held from 16 to 20 may. It invited the delegates from 79 countries, over 3.5 thousand guests, including foreign delegations headed by the Ministers of justice, heads of constitutional courts, heads of specialised international associations.
Zorkin: the ECHR divorced from the needs of society
In his lecture, the head of the COP also said that the European court of human rights is often divorced from the real problems of society. Currently, considerably the discontent of citizens of national States, the expansion of supranational regulation, which, in turn, is “democratic deficit”, said Zorkin.
“Under the democratic deficit I mean the lack of the citizens ability to influence decisions in areas where they
traditionally consider their voice significant”, – said Zorkin in the lecture. About “significant areas” he cited an example: “In questions of alliances with other States, the transfer of competences to supranational bodies, opening of borders, impact on the process of appointment of judges to supranational judicial bodies and so forth.”
In this regard, the Zorkin highlighted “the problem of the democratic deficit of supranational bodies for the protection of human rights, including the European court of human rights”.
“Since the entry into force of the Additional Protocol 11 to the Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms the ECHR has all the formal opportunity to deliberately change the Convention system and the more freely to implement his activist position, to which the Court uses different kind of theoretical Foundation and structures”, – stressed the head of the constitutional court.
According to Zorkin, the influence of the citizens of European countries on the activities and decisions of the ECHR minimum. It makes the Strasbourg court divorced from reality, he said. “The influence of citizens of European States to the court is almost minimized, which on the one hand, ensures the independence of this body, but, on the other hand, makes it divorced from the real social needs and real consensus that takes place in the companies”, – said the head of the constitutional court.
The COP willing to compromise with the ECHR, but subject to dialogue
Valery Zorkin said that the constitutional court of the Russian Federation is ready to compromise with supranational structures in the event of a conflict, including with the European court of human rights (ECHR), however it should be a “dialogue and negotiation” and not “the vertical chain of command, in which the Russian legal order would occupy a subordinate position”.
“The constitutional court in its judgments speaks of a willingness to compromise, the boundaries of which are delineated by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and expresses the desire for the fullest possible harmonization of the identity of the constitutional order with the universal provisions of the European Convention”, – said Zorkin (quoted by TASS).
He recalled that the legal mechanism for resolving the issue of possibility or impossibility to execute the judgment in the law “On the constitutional court of the Russian Federation” needed to combat “excessive, that is not quite honest, expansion on the part of supranational structures.”
According to Zorkin, the constitutional court of Russia is ready to meet the international community to enhance human rights guarantees in the case when there is a “need for a stable constitutional and legal design”. “Dialogue and negotiation is the essence of the legal approach to controversial issues”, – he stressed.