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The art of constitutional seduction. The 2020 case of Russia

On July 3rd 2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the official publication of the revised version of the Russian constitution, based on the Russian-wide voting on amending the constitution. The motivation of the process was clear – to allow Putin to stay in power almost indefinitely. Yet it also reveals the legal tricks and manipulation Russian authorities have used to make significant changes to the country’s legal order.

Imagine you are a skilled autocrat ruling over a nation for a long time. Unlike your dim, obsolete neighbours, you have successfully developed a personalist regime without any flagrant constitutional violations or manipulations. Even if you ever engaged in a constitutional modification process, you have always been careful and attentive, even to the tiniest technical issues of such an enterprise. No one can ever question the legitimacy of your previous endeavours because you are the master of legal disguise.
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September 7, 2020 - Oleksandr Marusiak - Hot TopicsIssue 5 2020Magazine

Russian President Vladimir Putin during a videoconference meeting with the working group on drafting proposals for amendments to the Constitution in July. This process was the most extensive intervention into the text of the Russian constitution since its adoption in 1993. Photo: President of Russia website (CC) http://static.kremlin.ru/media/events/photos/big/BOR5mtYIRRCy7Ci6hiiIIkUrYkHLePBl.JPG

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