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Russian Constitutional Court appreciated High Commissioner’s arguments for position clarifying

17 October 2017
Russian Constitutional Court appreciated High Commissioner’s arguments for position clarifying

On October 17, the Constitutional Court of Russia, having taken into account the arguments of High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova clarified the position on the issue of the return of money previously received by citizens from the Social Insurance Fund of Russia.

In 2017, High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation Tatiana Moskalkova received more than 20 complaints related to the issue of the recovery of funds from the applicants that they had previously received from the Social Insurance Fund of Russia.

Enforceable judicial decisions on exceeding the amount of compensation for damage to health at work began to appear one by one in all subjects of the country, thus the problem became systemic. It is especially worth noting that the decisions initially made by the courts on disbursements were later annulled in cassation. In this regard, the affected citizens had to return large sums of money back to the Social Insurance Fund of Russia.

In addition, the High Commissioner became aware of the practice of court decisions reversal in connection with new circumstances. Courts applied the ruling of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation regarding other citizens. Thus, the «prospect» of the return of legally received money became a real threat for 4,000 people.

Having carefully studied the materials, the High Commissioner concluded that the broad interpretation by the courts of clause 5 of part 4 of article 392 of the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation is contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation. In this connection, the High Commissioner sent her opinion on the case to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

On October 17, the Constitutional Court of Russia, having carefully studied the materials provided, including the position of the High Commissioner, proclaimed the following decision: the impugned norm in its constitutional and legal sense does not imply the cancellation of judicial decisions in connection with the change in the practice of applying the legal norm in the Decision of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

The Constitutional Court of Russia also ordered amendments to the legislation providing for the possibility of reviewing the decisions that came into force only if the relevant decision of the Plenum or the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation indicates that the legal position formulated therein is retroactive for cases with similar circumstances.

The legislator should take into account the inadmissibility of worsening the situation of citizens in their legal relations (pension, housing, labor, social security) with state authorities. It is also necessary to provide for the period during which it is allowed to file applications for review of decisions in court in connection with such a new circumstance as a change in the practice of applying the legal norm in a decision of the Plenum or in a decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

Thus, the position stated by the High Commissioner was fully reflected in the adopted Resolution of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Thanks to the efforts made by the High Commissioner, it was possible to restore justice and prevent violation of the rights of some four thousand people.

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