Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Russia (2003 - to date)
ZORKIN, Valery Dmitrievich (b. 1943) is a Soviet-Russian lawyer who was the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation in 1991-1993 and has been holding the same post since 2003. He had been a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1970 until its ban in 1991. From 1977 to 1979, he worked at the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1979 - 1986, he worked as a professor at the Department of Constitutional Law and Theory of State and Law of the Academy of the USSR Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1986, he became a professor at the Higher Correspondence School of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. In the early 1990s, he was an expert of the Constitutional Commission of the RSFSR, participated in the preparation of the draft Constitution of Russia.
On October 29, 1991, at the Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR, he was elected a member of the Constitutional Court of Russia on the proposal of the Communists for Democracy group and became its chairman. After the conflict with President Yeltsin in 1993-1994, he resigned as chairman, retaining the powers of a Justice of the Constitutional Court. In 2003, he was again elected its chairman. Until 2012, he was re-elected every three years by secret ballot by the judges of the Constitutional Court, and in 2012 and 2018, the President appointed him to this position. Specifically for Zorkin, President Medvedev proposed amendments to the law on the Constitutional Court in 2010, which allowed the chairman to hold this position even after reaching 70 years. He was a member of the Council of Europe Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) from 2005 to 2012.
Turning the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation from a legal body into a political one. For many years, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation has stood guard over the interests of the Putin regime.
Under the leadership of Zorkin, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation:
- confirmed the constitutionality of the law that abolished direct gubernatorial elections;
- confirmed the constitutionality of the regulations for the organization of rallies (and large fines for their violation);
- recognized the agreement on the annexation of Crimea as relevant to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, thereby participating in the annexation of Crimea;
- recognized the provisions of the law On Non-Profit Organizations, which introduced the concept of “NPO acting as a foreign agent,” not contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation;
- allowed Russia not to execute the decisions of the ECHR in case of discrepancies between them and the Constitution of the Russian Federation (which resulted, for example, in the refusal to pay about 2 billion euros to former Yukos shareholders);
- at the beginning of 2018, it confirmed the legality of not allowing Alexei Navalny to run in the presidential election.