Controversies related to the Constitutional Court Decision on Russian symbols. CC: It was not “legalized” to wear the black-orange ribbon and other symbols


“Purely in theory, the Court assesses correctly. However, how this article will be applied in practice is not clear. I do not exclude that the investigating agents will avoid applying fines for the reason that they will have to prove later, in court, that the violator used the particular symbol for the purpose of propagating war (etc). And if he will say that he put the letter “V” on his car because his mother/wife/daughter’s name is Valentina?”, said Olesea Stamate.

The deputy mentioned that in October the Venice Commission offered an opinion requested by the Constitutional Court, and considered that the law is balanced, clear and the legitimate purpose obvious.

In response to criticism in the public space, the Court stated that it did not “reinstate”, did not “legalize” the wearing of the black-orange ribbon and other symbols regulated by the challenged laws.

“The court ruled that sanctioning the use of these symbols is constitutional. However, in order to sanction a person, it must be established that the symbol was used for the purpose of justifying or glorifying actions of military aggression, war crimes or crimes against humanity,” states a statement issued by the institution.

To reach this conclusion, the Court found that the article of the Criminal Code that sanctions the use of the symbols in question does not establish whether their use must pursue any purpose in order to be sanctioned. The obligation of the courts to analyze the context in which the acts sanctioned by this article were committed cannot be inferred either.

Specifically, the Court ruled that state agents must verify the context in which a symbol was used and ascertain the purpose pursued by the person concerned, because not in all cases the sanctioning of the use of a symbol seeks to achieve any legitimate purpose. Once the pursuit of a legitimate purpose for the application of the sanction has been established, the courts must apply a punishment proportionate to the gravity of the act.

We specify that on April 11, the Constitutional Court decided that in order to sanction the use of the ribbon of Saint George and other symbols, law enforcement officers must prove that they were used to justify war crimes, crimes against humanity and Russian aggression.

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