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04.03.2016 Russian Constitutional Court judge Gadis Gadzhiev expressed a dissenting opinion to the decision of the Court on the retroactivity of new limitation period

On February 2016 the Russian Constitutional Court (RCC) has officially published the Judgment of 15th February, 2016 No. 3-П on the case concerning the review of constitutionality of the provisions of Section 9 of Article 3 of the Federal Law “On Making Amendments to Subdivisions 4 and 5 of Division I of Section 1 and Article 1153 of Section 3 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation” in connection with the complaint of Ye.V.Pototsky.

The applicant contested constitutionality of Paragraph 2 of Item 2 of Article 200 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and Section 9 of Article 3 of the Federal Law “On Making Amendments to Subdivisions 4 and 5 of Division I of Section 1 and Article 1153 of Section 3 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation”. The first provision, having been amended in 2013, stipulated that the term of limitation shall not exceed 10 years from the day of emergence of obligations, the term of which fulfilment was not determined by the parties or was determined by the moment of demand. The second norm approved application of this regulation to claims, the terms of laying of which were envisaged by the legislation operating earlier and did not expire prior to 1st September, 2013 (the date when this new law entered into force).

The Institute for Law and Public Policy has prepared a constitutional complaint for the applicant and consulted him after the application was taken by the RCC for the substantial review. In the complaint, it was stated that the contested provisions have to be proclaimed not conforming to the Constitution of the Russian Federation since they allow excessive state interference with the freedom of contract and bar creditors from effective remedy.

The RCC Judge Gadis Gadzhiev has prepared a concurring opinion. He notes, however, that not only the norm of the transitional provisions should have been recognized as unconstitutional, but the original norm of Paragraph 2 of Item 2 of Article 200 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation on the 10-year preclusive term of existence of any obligations.

The text of the concurring opinion is available in Russian (see pp. 17-23).

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