Re Compliance of Law with Charter

JurisdictionRusia
CourtCity Court (Russia)
Russian Federation, Charter Court of St Petersburg.

Kropatchev, President; Gerasina, Gutsan, Yeskina, Ilyinskaya, Liverovskiy and Osotskiy, Judges

Re Compliance of Article 1(3) of Law of St Petersburg with Charter of St Petersburg1

Human rights Equality Constitution of the Russian Federation, Articles 2 and 17(1) International law Constitution of the Russian Federation, Article 15(4) Compatibility of Article 1(3) of Law of St Petersburg with Article 3(1) of Charter of St Petersburg Importance of international human rights law in interpreting domestic human rights instruments

Human rights Right to adequate standard of living Right to continuous improvement of living conditions Article 11 of International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 Constitution of the Russian Federation Article 3 of the Charter of St Petersburg Compatibility of Article 1(3) of Law of St Petersburg with Article 3(1) of Charter of St Petersburg

Relationship of international law and municipal law Treaties International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 Constitution of the Russian Federation Compatibility of Article 1(3) of Law of St Petersburg with Article 3(1) of Charter of St Petersburg The law of the Russian Federation

Summary: The facts:The applicant, a municipal council, requested that the Court examine whether Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg2 was compatible with Article 3(1) of the Charter of St Petersburg.

The applicant alleged that, in changing the basic rate for calculating the salaries of post holders in St Petersburg, Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg had introduced inequality in salaries for persons taking up the same posts at different times in violation of the principle of equality of rights and freedoms guaranteed by Article 3(1) of the Charter of St Petersburg in accordance with

the Constitution of the Russian Federation (the Constitution).3 As such, the Law of St Petersburg was discriminatory

Held:Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg was incompatible with Article 3(1) of the Charter of St Petersburg.

(1) In accordance with Article 15(4) of the Constitution,4 generally recognized principles and rules of international law and international treaties of the Russian Federation were an integral part of its legal system. By Article 17(1) of the Constitution,5 rights and freedoms were recognized and guaranteed in the Russian Federation in accordance with generally recognized principles and rules of international law and the Constitution (p. 490).

(2) Since the Law of St Petersburg cancelled or diminished the rights and freedoms of man and citizen directly provided for in the Constitution and established by the rules of international law applicable in the territory of the Russian Federation, it did not conform with the Charter of St Petersburg (pp. 4901).

(3) As a State Party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966, the Russian Federation was obliged to take steps to achieve the full realization of the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living in accordance with its Article 11(1).6 This right, also derived from the Constitution and Article 3 of the Charter of St Petersburg, included the right to the continuous improvement of living conditions within the limits of existing resources. As such, measures by public authorities which had the effect of reducing the salaries of those holding public offices in St Petersburg were incompatible with the Charter of St Petersburg and had to be repealed (pp. 4917).

The following is the text of the judgment of the Court:

[The Charter Court of St Petersburg, composed as above] taking into account Article 50(1) of the Charter of St Petersburg, Articles 3(a), 30, 72, 73, 74 and 75 of the Law of St Petersburg On Charter Court of St Petersburg, after public hearings has examined the case regarding the compliance of Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg dated 3 July 2002 No 33733 On amending laws of St Petersburg regulating the salaries of persons who hold the state posts of St Petersburg, civil servants of St Petersburg and persons who hold municipal posts in St Petersburg with the Charter of St Petersburg.

Cause for the examination of the present case was the request of municipal council of municipal entity in municipal district No 34 on the examination of compliance of Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg dated 3 July 2002 No 33733 On amending laws of St Petersburg regulating the salaries of persons who hold the state posts of St Petersburg, civil servants of St Petersburg and persons who hold municipal posts in St Petersburg with the Charter of St Petersburg.

The ground for the examination of the present case was detection of the uncertainty whether provisions of Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg dated 3 July 2002 No 33733 On amending laws of St Petersburg regulating the salaries of persons who hold the state posts of St Petersburg, civil servants of St Petersburg and persons who hold municipal posts in St Petersburg, which change the basic rate for calculating the salaries of persons who hold the posts included on the Register of elected municipal posts, and Register of posts of municipal servants, comply with Article 3(1) of the Charter of St Petersburg.

Having heard the information of judge-rapporteur, Ms O. V. Gerasina; statements of the applicant's representative, councillor of municipal council of municipal entity in municipal district No 34, Mr D. N. Shcheglov; representative of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, Ms E. O. Astashenko; representative of governor of St Petersburg in the Charter Court of St Petersburg, Ms A. V. Mityanina; testimonies of witnesses: members of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg, Mr S. Yu. Andreyev, Ms N. L. Yevdokimova, Mr S. N. Nikeshin; vice-governor of St Petersburghead of the Committee of Finances of St Petersburg, Mr V. Yu. Krotov; vice-governor of St Petersburghead of the Committee of Labour and Social Protection of Population of St Petersburg, Mr V. G. Derbin; head of the Auditing Chamber of St Petersburg, Mr D. A. Burenin; having studied the reports of specialistsDr Prof. A. M. Kurennoy, dean of the department of state service of the Academy of National Economics attached to the Government of the Russian Federation; Mr A. V. Shishlov, member of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; and submitted documents and other materials of the case-file,

The Charter Court of St Petersburg has established:

1.On 23 December 2002 the Charter Court of St Petersburg received the request of municipal council of municipal entity in municipal district No 34, on examination of the compliance of Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg dated 3 July 2002 No 33733 On amending laws of St Petersburg regulating the salaries of persons who hold the state posts of St Petersburg, civil servants of St Petersburg and persons who hold municipal posts in St Petersburg (hereinafter Law of St Petersburg No 33733) with the Charter of St Petersburg. On 27 December 2002 the Charter Court of St Petersburg accepted this request for its consideration.

In accordance with Article 1(3) of the Law of St Petersburg No 33733, the basic rate for calculating the salaries of persons who hold the posts included on the Register of elected municipal posts, and Register of posts of municipal servants, is a calculation unit equal to 0.15 (15%) of subsistence wage per capita established in St Petersburg for the second quarter of 2002 (hereinafter calculation unit). The calculation unit is changed once a year for the beginning of the financial year and shall be equal to 0.15 (15%) of the subsistence wage per capita established in St Petersburg for the second quarter of the preceding year. The change of calculation unit shall be reflected accordingly in the budget of St Petersburg for the following financial year. In attachment 1 Register of elected municipal posts to the Law of St Petersburg dated 5 July 2000 No 35636 On registers of municipal posts in St Petersburg the words Size of monthly salary (in minimum wages) have been replaced by the words Size of monthly salary (in calculation units or percents of other wages).

In accordance with Article 4(2) of the federal law dated 24 October 1997 No 134FZ On subsistence wage in the Russian Federation, the size of the subsistence wage in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation shall be determined by the executive authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In St Petersburg the size of subsistence wage is determined, in accordance with the order of the Administration of St Petersburg dated 10 April 2002 No 557ra On the determination of the size of the subsistence wage per capita and for main socio-demographic groups of population in St Petersburg, by the Committee of Labour and Social Protection of Population of St Petersburg.

Regarding the determination of a calculation unit for 2003, the size of the subsistence wage determined in St Petersburg for the second quarter of 2002 is used. This size, in accordance with point 1 of the order of the Committee of Labour and Social Protection...

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