Priority of International Law vs. Supremacy of the Russian Constitution: Collision of Fundamental Principles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The combination of constitutional clauses providing for direct effect and supremacy of international law over domestic legislation and clauses according the supreme legal force to the Constitution makes Russia an excellent case study on the ‘duel for supremacy’ between international law and national fundamental principles. Despite a very high status accorded to international human rights norms in the legal system in general, recently, in the process of ‘gaining back sovereignty’, the Russian Constitutional Court confirmed the supremacy of the Russian Constitution over conflicting judgments of international human rights courts and tribunals. This chapter draws on three cases of ‘exceptionally unreconcilable’ incompatibility between international norms interpreted by ECtHR and ‘fundamental basics of the constitutional order’ promoted by the Russian Constitutional Court to illustrate the growing conflict between two of the foundational principles of Russian constitutional law: the principle of priority of international law above domestic legislation and the principle of ‘supreme legal force’ of the Constitution across the whole territory of the state.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDuelling for Supremacy
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Law vs. National Fundamental Principles
EditorsFulvio Maria Palombino
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Print)9781108475266
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019