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Human rights activists against unification of courts

November 08, 2013, 13:21 UTC+3
Experts state their “negative attitude” to the project of the “the largest institutional reform of the judicial system since the creation of justice of the peace.”
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The Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative Transparency International on Thursday came out against the abolition of the Russian Supreme Commercial Court (SCC) and transfer of its powers to the Russian Supreme Court (SC) - the Kommersant business daily writes.

Having analyzed the currently considered amendments to the Constitution that the State Duma lower house of parliament intends to adopt in the first reading on November 12, experts of the center stated their “negative attitude” to the project of the “the largest institutional reform of the judicial system since the creation of justice of the peace.”

The experts noted in their conclusion that the bill had not been coordinated with legal experts and other professionals, it contains no provisions on separate arbitrazh courts, on judicial benches for economic disputes, as well as feasibility studies and information about how many judges will be transferred from the arbitrazh system to the renewed Supreme Court.

The experts also point out that the system of commercial courts is more open than that of the courts of general jurisdiction: the more numerous general jurisdiction courts have fewer opportunities to develop information technologies.

The unification of supreme courts will cause corruption risks, the conclusion says: “commercial courts are not under the control of the executive power branch, as they are positioned not by the territorial and area principle (unlike the general jurisdiction courts),” and when they are unified they will become “more dependent on the executive power branch.”

In addition, the center experts are confident that a six-month transition period “is not enough for the unification of two supreme courts with their following transfer to St. Petersburg.”

Meanwhile, the State Duma has been receiving favourable comments from Russian regions about the planned amendments to the Constitution.

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