Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
BONDAR, Nikolai Semenovich (b. 1950) graduated from the Law Faculty of Rostov State University (RSU, later - SFedU) in 1973. From 1973 to 1975, he worked as an investigator of the military prosecutor's office of the Pskov garrison of the Leningrad military district. In 1979, he defended his Kandidat dissertation at Leningrad State University, and in 1996, his doctoral thesis. Since 1978, for nine years he had been a lecturer, senior lecturer, assistant professor and deputy dean of the Faculty of Law of the RSU. In October 1987, he became the Head of the Department of Municipal Law and Management of the Faculty of Law of the RSU; Director of the Institute of Law and Management of the RSU from September 1997.
On February 16, 2000, Nikolai Bondar was appointed judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation on the proposal of the Legislative Assembly and the governor of the Rostov Region to the acting President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. He is the head of the Department of Municipal Law and Management of the Southern Federal University. Chairman of the dissertation council on legal sciences at SFedU, professor of the department of state and administrative law of St. Petersburg State University.
Complicity in the constitutional coup.
Nikolai Bondar was the first appointee to the Constitutional Court under Vladimir Putin. He could likely meet with Putin back in the 1970s at Leningrad University. In any case, Bondar always followed in the wake of the general line of the Constitutional Court, and only once expressed a dissenting opinion and even that was anything but democratic: in November 2005, he and another judge Sergey Mavrin opposed the decision to allow citizens to campaign “against all candidates” due to the lack of control mechanisms for financing such agitation.
In 2014, Bondar participated in the formalization of the illegal annexation of Crimea, and was one of the co-authors of the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of March 19, 2014 #6-P on the recognition of “the international treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on the accession of the Republic of Crimea in the Russian Federation and the formation of new entities in accordance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation in the composition of the Russian Federation.”
In 2020, during the hasty passing of Putin's amendments to the Basic Law, the Constitutional Court acted as the legalizer of the coup. On March 10, United Russia MP Valentina Tereshkova proposed lifting restrictions on the number of presidential terms or allowing re-election of Vladimir Putin to the presidency (“nullifying” the number of terms already held by him as president). Putin, who suddenly appeared at a meeting of the Duma, supported Tereshkova’s statement but referred to the need to obtain a Constitutional Court opinion on the conformity of the amendments to the current Constitution. Already after two days of consideration, the Constitutional Court almost wholly recognized the legality of “nullifying,” although in 1998, considering a similar case, it had forbidden President Yeltsin to run for the third time in a row. It is noteworthy that the judges explained the new decision by the “special clause” included in the Basic Law which had been absent earlier, which takes into account certain “historical factors <...>, including the degree of threats to the state and society, the state of the political and economic systems.” According to many experts and analysts, allowing Putin to remain president after 2024 was the main goal of the whole venture with the amendments.
As early as March 14, 2020, Putin signed hastily drafted amendments. Besides “nullifying the terms,” they allow the Russian authorities to ignore the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, introduce the concept of “internal threats” that the Security Council of the Russian Federation must fight, and also expand the powers of the president. They completed the constitutional and legal drafting of Putin's dictatorship and are regarded by the Free Russia Forum as an illegitimate and anti-democratic constitutional coup.