Full name:
Knyazev Sergey



Professional field/official position/biography:

Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.

KNYAZEV, Sergey Dmitrievich (b. 1959) graduated from the Law Faculty of Far Eastern State University (FESU) in 1981. In 1985, he defended his Kandidat thesis in the graduate school of the Faculty of Law of Leningrad State University. Since 1985, he worked at the Department of State and International Law of the Faculty of Law of the Far Eastern State University, first as an assistant, then as a senior lecturer, since 1990 as an assistant professor, and since 1996 as a professor in the department of state and administrative law. From 1990 to 1995, he was Dean of the Faculty of Law of FESU. After 1995, due to the transformation of the Faculty of Law of the FESU into the Law Institute of FESU, he became the deputy director of the institute and the head of the department of state and administrative law. From 2011 to the present, he is the head of the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law of the Law School of the Far Eastern Federal University.

Sergey Knyazev was the head of the working group on the preparation of the draft Charter of the Primorsky Territory. In 1999 he defended his doctoral dissertation at St. Petersburg State University. From 1995 to 2008, he was chairman of the Election Commission of the Primorsky Territory. On October 15, 2008, on the proposal of President Dmitry Medvedev, he was appointed judge of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation at a plenary session of the Federation Council.

Accused of:

Complicity in the constitutional coup and usurpation of power.

Back in 2014, a judge of the Constitutional Court Sergei Knyazev reasonably condemned the Russian authorities' enthusiasm for constitutional amendments: “If we get carried away with changes to the Constitution, we will create the following moods in the society: the Constitution is not a sacred cow, it’s nothing special as a legal document, if necessary, it can be amended, therefore, the rules of the Constitution have no special value.” However, already in 2020, he signed under the approval of Putin's amendments to the Constitution in 2020, and thus bears responsibility for the legalistic design of a personalist dictatorship in Russia.

Recall that 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.

Links and materials

Князев, Сергей Дмитриевич


Поправки к Конституции России (2020)

Closed access

Home / Personas / Knyazev Sergey