Law Institute, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad 236016, Russian Federation
A new term has appeared in the Russian domestic legislation on the freedom of peaceful assembly - the involvement of minors into unauthorized public events. The author provides a critical analysis of this legal concept and tries to answer the question to what extent this novel corresponds to international and national constitutional law, which explicitly guarantees minors' right to freedom of peaceful assembly.
This article systematically reviews the current issues related to participation of minors in public protest actions, including the first case in Russia occurred in Kaliningrad regarding involvement of minors into unauthorized picketing. The author suggests to improve Russian law on public assembly, particularly follow-up revision of the mechanism for bringing to responsibility in cases when minors are involved into unauthorized public events.
In the study the author uses the traditional research methods such as analysis and synthesis, deduction and induction, logic and comparative legal methods.
Based on the analysis of legal provisions prohibiting the involvement of minors into unauthorized public actions, the author concludes that the quality of law is low due to the fact that the legislator uses a legal technique of “point bans” - haphazardly and selectively imposing bans on the “involvement of minors” merely into certain administrative offences. Thus, as a result, the law provides excessive and disproportionate administrative responsibility (a fine of 50 000 Rubles - 700 EUR) for involving children into unauthorized but peaceful public events; and, at the same time, the federal legislator “punishes” the involvement of minors into alcohol and tobacco consumption with a symbolic fine of 3000 Rubles (40 EUR). The author represents the opinion that there is a strong need to introduce a general ban on the involvement of minors into any administrative offences, and also favours modification of the Art. 20.2 (11) of the Russian Code of Administrative Violations (RCAV), which would supplement the sanction of this norm with the possibility to issue a warning and cancel the lower limit of the fine. These measures can guarantee the proportional nature of administrative responsibility and judges can truly be able to individualize the administrative punishment taking into account all relevant circumstances in the particular case where minors are involved.
children, minors, the involvement of children into unauthorized public events, unauthorized picketing, freedom of artistic expression, artistic protest, photo session, performance, public events, rallies, demonstrations, marches, pickets, meetings, freedom of peaceful assembly, the right of public assembly.
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