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Putin lauds progress in Russian judicial reform

February 16, 2016, 16:46 UTC+3

Russia’s judicial reform started in 2014 and, in the first place, principally important steps have been taken to ensure single interpretation of law and achieve the uniform judicial practice

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© Alexei Druzhinin/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russia is gradually overcoming the problems that prompted the judicial reform in the country, President Vladimir Putin said at a seminar of Russian judges on Tuesday.

Russia’s judicial reform started in 2014 and, in the first place, principally important steps have been taken to ensure single interpretation of law and achieve the uniform judicial practice, the Russian president said.

In general, the judicial reform should contribute to the higher quality and accessibility of justice, ensure the effective protection of rights, the dignity and property of Russian citizens and their stronger confidence in courts, Putin said.

In this sphere, much depends on the professionalism and openness of judges and their desire to get into the details of the matter and pass a legitimate and fair judgment, the Russian president said.

"At the same time, respect for a court’s judgments and their civilized perception should be firmly established in society and this attitude can be achieved only on condition of legal culture in society," Putin said.

The Russian president also demanded that the cases of the abuse of law against business should be ruled out.

"The topical issue is to put a barrier on the way of those who use criminal prosecution as a truncheon in corporate disputes and conflicts or for taking away property from legal owners."

"Owing to the complexity of entrepreneurial activity and associated risks and far from always clearly-expressed legal norms, it is sometimes difficult to sort out where criminal prosecution is justified and where the law is abused under the guise of the struggle against the violation of law," the Russian president said.

"We must do everything to maximally exclude such instances and create conditions for the free and safe work of business," Putin said.

Work is currently under way on a resolution of a Supreme Court plenum on the specifics of the criminal liability of entrepreneurs, the Russian president said.

"This does not mean that some special and greater leniency should be applied to entrepreneurs as compared to ordinary citizens. The requirements of law should be equal for all," Putin said.

At the same time, the Russian president said it was inadmissible to delay the work on adopting a law to de-criminalize some articles of Russia’s Criminal Code relative to violations committed by citizens for the first time.

"Delaying the adoption of this law means dooming hundreds of thousands of people to quite serious trials and depriving them of the possibility to rehabilitate themselves and return to normal life," Putin told the seminar of Russian judges.

The efficiency of the entire state apparatus and the favorable economic climate in the country depend on the court’s responsibility, Putin said.

"This requires a high level of professionalism because responsibility is great - this is either a dispute of the state with a citizen, or citizens between themselves or a dispute of a citizen with the state and this is crucial for the efficiency of the entire state apparatus and the creation of the favorable investment climate in the economy, which makes the basis for the country’s economic success," the Russian president said.

Putin also said that the establishment of a single higher instance in the country would help bring judicial power to a new level of development.

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