Federation Council members to be renamed senators

Federation Council members to be renamed senators
Photo: Maxim Platonov/realnoevremya.ru

State Duma deputy from Tatarstan Oleg Morozov and his six colleagues tabled a bill with amendments to Federal Law On Parliamentary Control for consideration by the Lower Chamber. The document is mostly about renaming “Federation Council members” “senators of the Russian Federation.” The history of such amendments starts with changes made to the Constitution in 2020. However, the main law itself uses both terms at once.

They want to change 82 laws, but the Constitution has duality too

As Parliamentary Newspaper wrote, it was planned to rename Federation Council members senators in regulatory acts as early as July 2020. Chairman of the Federal Council’s Committee for Regulation and Organisation of Parliamentary Activity Vyacheslav Timchenko talked about it then. However, the initiative hasn’t fully implemented in the last two years. This could happen at least because “Federation Council member” is mentioned in 82 laws.

In current legislation, it is offered to change the formulations only in Federal Law on Parliamentary Control. However, the new formulation has been long mentioned in Federal Law On Order of Formation of the Federation Council and a number of other laws.

History of Russian Senat starts in 1711

The ruling Senate as supreme agency of legislative, executive and judicial power was founded by Peter the Great in 1711. However, just 15 years later, the Senate was renamed Supreme Senate and lost part of its duties. Later, during the rule of Catherine the Great, it was divided into several departments but lost its legislative role. Since the early 19th century, it performed supervisory functions over the activity of state institutions.

Disbandment and new start of Russian parliament

Though the Senate as such hasn’t appeared in new Russian power, the term senator has been firmly associated with the Federation Council member since the creation of the Federation Council.

“Though the term senator has been widely used by the Russian-speaking audience and associated with the Federation Council member, this concept was borrowed from foreign practice (senator in Latin), a senate member,” writes Yevgeny Madayev.

The researcher think that to avoid different interpretations of some terms, the name “Federation Council member” should change in all regulatory documents for “senator” and spell out in the Constitution that these terms are equal like the Federation Council and Senate.

“To avoid collision in the interpretation of Article 134 and Clause 2 in Article 135 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation in Part 1 of Article 95, it is recommended to indicate that “the name Senate and Federation Council are equal,” while Part 2 of Article 95 should be edited the following way: “the name senator of the Russian Federation and Federation Council member are equal,” concludes Madayev.

Artyom Gafarov