Constitutional Court ruling on placement of a foreign minor into a temporary detention centre

Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has published its final decision No. 690-O/2013 dated May 14, 2013 on the appeal of D.G.Nazarmamadov, a citizen of Tadzhikistan, whose interests were represented by attorney Olga Tseitlina based on an agreement with ADC “Memorial”. (See the Court’s website: http://www.ksrf.ru/ru/Decision/Pages/default.aspx)

In November 2012 in accordance with the decision of a district court the claimant was placed into the minors’ section of the Centre for detention of foreign citizens because he didn’t have registration in the Russian Federation. The relatives of the minor appealed to ADC “Memorial” with a claim against illegal placement into the detention centre. Attorney Olga Tseitlina has made an appeal concerning the decision of the court of first instance, which was considered by the chairman of the court personally without requesting the presence of the attorney and the parties in this case, which was a violation of the processual rights of the claimant. But since the judge has referred to the norms of the federal law “On the basics of the prevention of neglect and misdemeanors of the minors”, the attorney appealed to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with a complaint.

The attorney made an appeal concerning subsection 6 of section 2 article 22 of the federal law “On the basics of the prevention of neglect and misdemeanors of the minors”, which allows for placement into detention centres of minors who were not considered guilty of administrative violation according to the established procedure, as well as section 3 of article 30 of the law, which prevents the accused person, as well as his legal representative, from participating in the procedure of consideration of legality of the judge’s ruling. This, according to the claimant’s attorney, stands in contradiction to articles 19, 46, 49 and 123 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Constitutional Court has stated that the fact of assignment of characteristics for consideration of some particular category of cases in a separate legal act is not enough to fully regulate the procedure for consideration in court. These norms could not be considered as negating the rule of the general procedural norms for consideration of respective cases because otherwise this would mean the possibility of court activities outside of the norms established by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which would in turn mean violation of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens.

Although the Constitutional Court stated that the rights of the claimant were not violated in this case, it has cleared what particular legal mechanisms (i.e. the norms of the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation) can be applied when such decisions are appealed in court. The Constitutional Court has also stated that the limitation of rights of the claimant in accordance with some specialized laws is not allowed.

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