Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Russian Supreme Court Quashes Conviction of Ildar Dadin

–Dimitry Mednikov, Litigation Unit, Institute for Law and Public Policy

On 22 February 2017, the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – “Supreme Court of Russia”), enforcing the judgment of the Constitutional Court of Russia (hereinafter – “RCC”) of 10 February 2017 No. 2-П, heard a motion to reopen a criminal case against Russian activist Ildar Dadin. Mr. Dadin had been convicted on 7 December 2015 under Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code for repeated violations of statutory rules on holding public assemblies, and thereafter sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.

The Presidium of the Supreme Court of Russia held that:

  1. The criminal case against Mr. Dadin was to be reopened in the light of new circumstances;
  2. Mr. Dadin’s conviction by the Basmanny District Court of Moscow of 7 December 2015, upheld by the Moscow City Court on 31 March 2016, was to be quashed;
  3. The criminal case against Mr. Dadin was to be dismissed;
  4. Mr. Dadin was to be released and granted a right to compensation.

Mr. Dadin participated in the hearing via a video link. At the beginning of hearing, he petitioned the Supreme Court of Russia to grant him a right to be physically present at the hearing. The Supreme Court declined to do so.

Shortly thereafter, the presiding judge declared a recess to enable Mr. Dading to confer with his lawyers on further steps to be taken in the proceedings. When the hearing resumed, Mr. Dadin declared his intention to refuse to take any further part in the proceedings.

In the course of the hearing, both Mr. Dadin’s lawyers and the Deputy of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Leonid Korjenek stated that the criminal case against Mr. Dadin had to be dismissed given the absence of any criminal conduct on his part as Mr. Dadin had not been subjected to administrative sanctions for violating the statutory rules on holding or participating in public assemblies (two of the three judgments imposing administrative sanctions on Mr. Dadin had not yet come into force by the time the criminal proceedings were instituted).

Furthermore, Mr. Dadin’s lawyers–Ksenia Kostromina and Alexey Liptser, Attorneys at law–invoked the RCC Judgment in Mr. Dadin’s case to argue that no criminal proceedings could be instituted against a person for organising or participating in an unauthorised public assembly, where such assembly did not cause or at least create the risk of causing harm to property and persons or other citizens or organisations, the environment, the public order or any other constitutionally protected values.

Dismissal of the criminal case against Mr. Dadin became possible due to the RCC Judgment of 10 February 2017 No. 2-П, in which the RCC reviewed the constitutionality of Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of Russia.

The Institute for Law and Public Policy drafted Mr. Dadin’s application to the RCC. At the RCC hearing, Sergey A. Golubok, Ph.D., Attorney at law, represented Mr. Dadin as part of the Institute’s project on “Enhancing Civic Engagement in Strategic Constitutional Litigation in Russia”.

The full text of the application (in Russian) is available here

The video of the hearing at the Russian Constitutional Court, on 24 January 2017, is available here.

And the full text of the judgment (in Russian) of the judgment of 10 February 2017 No. 2-П is available here.

Suggested Citation: Dimitry Mednikov, Russian Supreme Court Quashes Conviction of Ildar Dadin, Int’l J. Const. L. Blog, Mar. 1, 2017, at:


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