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Duma to pass law on unified Russian Supreme Court

November 22, 2013, 12:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The unified structure is intended to be formed by merging the current Supreme Court and Supreme Commercial Court

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexandra Mudrats

MOSCOW, November 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The State Duma lower house of Russia’s parliament on Friday intends to pass in the third and final reading amendments to the Constitution of Russia on the creation of a unified Supreme Court merging the current Supreme Court and Supreme Commercial Court.

The bill proposes to form the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (SC RF) — a unified highest judicial agency on civil, criminal, administrative cases, on the settlement of economic disputes and other cases, subject to the jurisdiction of courts. The current Russian Supreme Commercial Court is to be abolished, and issues related to the administration of justice by it are to be transferred to fall within the jurisdiction of a unified Russian Supreme Court. The bill also specifies that before the amendments to the Russian Constitution come into force, a six-month transitional period is established.

Russia’s unified Supreme Court will consist of 170 judges. Initially, they will be selected by a special qualification board, comprising 27 representatives of the president, Public Chamber, and national private associations of lawyers.

It is also proposed in the bill to enshrine in the Russian Constitution the clauses, according to which the deputy prosecutors general are appointed and dismissed by the Federation Council upper house of parliament upon the recommendation of the president. The opinion of the regional authorities will be taken into account in the appointment.

The lawmakers will consider in the first reading All-Russia People’s Front’s (ONF) initiative on prohibiting Russian officials to buy and even rent luxury cars, costing more than 3 million rubles ($90,881). The law is to come into force on January 1, 2014.

The lower house will also consider in the first reading a presidential bill on wider use of the state symbols - the national flag and anthem. According to the proposed amendment, the flag should be constantly hoisted at general educational institution buildings or planted in their territory regardless of their property forms, member of the house education committee Grigory Balykhin explained. The state flag should also be hoisted during mass, including sports events that are held by educational organisations.

The bill proposes to play the national anthem in general education and professional education institutions before the first lesson on the first day of a new academic year, as well as during formal events on the occasion of public and municipal holidays.

“The proposed measures will promote patriotic feelings in the younger generation. Every citizen of Russia should know from his childhood the national anthem and honour the flag of the motherland,” Balykhin stressed.

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