Russian Duma Allows Constitutional Court to Override International Court Orders

Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved on Friday a law granting the Federal Constitutional Court the right to declare international court orders unenforceable in Russia if they violate the country's constitution, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The law follows the Constitutional Court ruling of July 14 in which the court stated it would evaluate orders issued by the European Court of Human Rights on a case-by-case basis to determine if they are enforceable under the Russian constitution.

In passing the law, the Duma has provided the court with "a special legal mechanism for resolving the question of the possibility or impossibility of executing [international] court rulings from the point of view of the higher legal force of the Russian constitution," RIA Novosti reported, citing the law.

Additionally, two mechanisms for appealing a foreign court order have been established. First, a Russian federal body responsible for handling the nation's interests in international court cases can appeal to the constitutional court; and second, the president or the Russian government can appeal.

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