Judgment of the Constitutional Court of 23 June 2015 № 1518-O upon the petition of A.V.Lukyanitsa

Legislation in question: Article 3 of the Federal Law “On Additional Means of State Support Provided toFamilies with Children”

Legal issue: Does a father of two or more children have a right to receive a government support provided to families with children, regardless of the respective right of a mother of said children?

Ratio decidendi: The right of a man for additional governmental support for a family at a time of birth of a child is a derivative of a right of a woman and can only be invoked, when a woman’s right have been revoked on the legal grounds. The right of a men to such support is not derivative of a women’s right only when they are the single adoptive parents of a second or third child or consecutive children. Such legal regulation, determined by differences in the types of social risks men and women are exposed to, and also by a legal basis for relationship, pertaining to bringing up the children, does not contradict with the principle of man - woman equality as related to the realization of rights, guaranteed by the Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution. The principle itself is established by Article 19 (part 3) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Therefore such regulation cannot be deemed to be infringing upon the constitutional rights of the appellant, mentioned in the petition. Resolution of the appellant's request to invoke the right to receive additional governmental support, provided to a father with two children, regardless of the concurrent right of a mother, is a prerogative of the legislator and is not under the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court.

Dissenting opinion:
  • The regulation in question causes some concern from the standpoint of its compliance with the principle of non-discrimination (i.e. disallowing a different treatment of persons in the same or similar circumstances), especially in light of the goals of disputed legal acts, which place the receipt and utilization of said funds in close connection with the personality of a child. The function of the family (fatherhood and motherhood, which are equality protected by the Article 7 (part 2) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation) has not only a biological component (carrying a child and giving birth), but also a social one (bringing up and educating), the later being able to be equally carried out by a man or a woman in incomplete family. The fact that the appellant's wife and the mother of his children, who had divorced him and has been stripped of her parenting rights, is a foreign citizen, is irrelevant for the purposes of determining his need for additional government assistance. In theory, his children can find themselves in more difficult life circumstances than other minors who are brought up in a complete family, and also may have the same rights to the government support, as the children whose father does not hold Russian citizenship.

Document (183.40 Kb)
Subject area:
Social security compensations social benefits