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24.01.2017 The Constitutional Court heard the case on constitutionality of Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code

On 24 January 2017 the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation held a public hearing in the case concerning constitutionality of Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code, as brought by the Russian citizen Ildar I. Dadin. This provision was introduced in 2014 and establishes criminal liability for multiple violations of the statutory rules for organization or holding assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, processions or picketing. Ildar I. Dadin is the first person convicted under this provision in Russia and is currently serving his 2,5-year prison sentence.

In his application Ildar I. Dadin argued that Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code violates his freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, his right not to be prosecuted twice for the same offence, as well as his right to defence and the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular by its Articles 1 (part 1), 15 (part 4), 17 (part 1), 18, 19 (part 1), 29 (parts 1 and 3), 31, 48, 49 (part 1), 50 (parts 1 and 2) and 55 (part 3). The challenged provision violates the constitutional rights of Ildar I. Dadin to the extent that it implies:

  1. Criminal liability for technical infractions of statutory rules for organization or holding of peaceful public assemblies, based only on multiplicity of such infractions;
  2. Potential prison sentence for actions not resulting in damage to health or property and not threatening public safety or environment;
  3. Institution of criminal proceedings for multiple infractions of statutory rules for organization or holding of public assemblies before respective judgments on all administrative cases under Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation have entered into force;
  4. Reliance on administrative case files used as evidence within the criminal proceedings despite the fact that a defense attorney was not involved at the stage of administrative proceedings.

The Institute of Law and Public Policy assisted with drafting of Ildar I. Dadin’s application to the Constitutional Court. At the hearing, Sergey A. Golubok, Ph.D., Attorney at law, will be representing Ildar I. Dadin as part of the Institute’s project “Enhancing Civic Engagement in Strategic Constitutional Litigation in Russia”.

Full text of the complaint (in Russian)

Video of the session of the Russian Constitutional Court on January 24, 2017.

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