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Most Russia's regions approve of amendment to Constitution on merger of supreme courts

December 27, 2013, 16:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

More than 70 regions have already forwarded resolutions on the approval of the law on amending the Constitution

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© ITAR-TASS/Georgiy Andreev

MOSCOW, December 27, 16:22 /ITAR-TASS/. The majority of Russian Federation subjects, as required by law, have approved an amendment to the RF Constitution on the creation of Russia’s unified Supreme Court, Andrei Klishas, head of the committee for constitutional legislation, legal and judicial affairs and civil society development at the Federation Council upper house of parliament, told reported on Friday.

“More than 70 regions have already forwarded to us resolutions on the approval of the law on amending the Constitution,” he said.

In the view of the FC member, “at its first meeting in 2014, the Federation Council will summarise the results of the law consideration by the RF subjects.”

Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko on December 25 said that the upper house might consider the amendment to the constitution on the supreme courts’ merger on January 29, if the sufficient number of answers comes by that time from the regional parliaments. The FC speaker added, however, that if the number of answers required by the law is insufficient, the law might be considered in February.

The Federation Council on November 27 unanimously approved an amendment to the RF Constitution on the creation of a unified Supreme Court on the basis of the current Supreme Court and Supreme Commercial Court. It is planned to form the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (SC FR) as the single 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 RF Supreme Commercial Court is to be abolished, and issues related to the administration of justice by it are transferred to fall within the jurisdiction of the unified RF Supreme Court. The amendment specifies that a six-month transitional period is set for the amendments to the RF Constitution to take effect. Under the law, after the approval by the Federation Council, the amendment has to be approved by the legislative assemblies of at least three-thirds of RF subjects (that is, at least 55), they have a one-year period for that. After this procedure is completed, the FC members would again discuss the law on the amendment. After that, a period of seven days will be given for possible appealing the law at the Constitutional Court. If no appeals are made, then the document will be submitted to the RF president for signature.

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