Russian Constitution of 1978

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The Constitution of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of 12 April 1978 was formally its supreme law.

History[edit]

At its Extraordinary Session of 12 April 1978, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR adopted a new republican Constitution, to replace the old Russian Constitution of 1937, including its subsequent amendments. The new Constitution initially consisted of a Preamble and 185 articles, and was prepared as part of the whole process of bringing all 15 republican Constitutions in line with new Constitution of the Soviet Union of October 1977.

It was the fourth Constitution of the Russian SFSR. Following a turbulent period of democratization, dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent economic reform the Constitution was amended several times. It lost its legal force by the referendum of 12 December 1993, which was preceded by a power struggle between the President of Russia and Russia's legislative institutions - the Congress of People's Deputies and the Supreme Soviet of Russia.

List of amendments[edit]

Amendment date New institutions/additions Eliminated institutions
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 27 October 1989
Law "on modification of article 104 of the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 31 May 1990 Congress now elects Chairman and three (instead of one) of deputy chairmans of the Supreme Soviet None
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 16 June 1990
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 15 December 1990
  • USSR-appointed office of the Prosecutor of the Russian SFSR
  • Committee for Constitutional Supervision of the Russian SFSR
  • Civil and political rights are no longer limited on ideological grounds, such as "aims of building communism" (art. 45, 49), "interests of the people" "strengthment and developing the socialist system" (art. 48) and similar.
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 24 May 1991
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR because of reform of the local self-government" 24 May 1991
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR because of transformation of Autonomous oblasts into Soviet Socialist Republics within RSFSR" 3 July 1991 Three new republics established Three autonomous oblasts dissolved
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 1 November 1991
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian SFSR" 21 April 1992
Law "On Modifications and Additions to Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian Federation" 9 December 1992
  • Provisions related to Armed Forces of the Russian Federation inserted into art. 30 ("The Russian Federation ensures the security and defence capability of the country, and supplies the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation with everything necessary for that purpose)
  • Parliamentary control over President is strengthed: ministers of defence, interior, foreign and security are now appointed with consent of the Supreme Soviet, exercise of presidential powers to change national and state structure of the Russian Federation or dissolve or suspend activities of any lawfully elected government body (such as one of Soviets) now results in their "immediate termination".
  • Explicit constitutional recognition of private property, loosening of restrictions of land ownership.
  • Justice of the peace became part of the Judiciary of Russia
  • Lifetime tenure for judges, "unless otherwise provided by law of the Russian Federation"
Law "on modification of article 71 of the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Russian Federation" 10 December 1992 Chechen-Ingush ASSR

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Russian Constitution of 1937
Constitution of Russia
12 April 1978–12 December 1993
Succeeded by
Constitution of Russia