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The 25th Anniversary of the Constitution: Balancing Freedom and Responsibility

Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, describes the current Constitution of Russia as the first Basic Law in the thousand years’ history of the country to regulate the fundamentals of state and society in such a clear, concise but at the same time comprehensive way. The devotion to the founding principles of the Constitution gives us grounds to believe that Russia will never again become an arena of violent civilian conflicts, totalitarianism and cruel social experiments, because the said founding principles are not only legally correct but often achieved through suffering and bloodshed.

The present Constitution aims to find a balance between freedom and responsibility without sliding to either extreme liberalism or to a situation when the interests of people dissolve in those of the state and the society. The sections about the fundamental principles and about rights and liberties of man have actually become the main, most actively implemented part of the Constitution.

The judicial system in modern Russia plays a critical part in the system of checks and balances and in protecting the right for compensation of damage caused by unlawful acts of authorities, and thus prevents sliding to dictatorship. According to Medvedev, the Judiciary is to become a future driver of transition from the concentration on state-building to enhancing freedom of man and encouraging initiative.

At the same time, we still have a long way to go before we fully implement the provisions of the Basic Law, as well as unravel and grasp its norms. According to the author, any possible changes to the Constitution should be aimed at actualizing the status of government bodies without compromising the protection of human rights.

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