Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Russian Highest Economic Court to Be Dissolved

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a bill to radically reform the Russian judicial system. According to the bill, the Supreme Arbitrazh (Economic) Court will be dissolved. The functions of both the Supreme Arbitrazh Court and the Supreme Court (currently being the highest court of general jurisdiction) will be transferred to the new Supreme Court. To implement the reform, changes must be made to the Constitution. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that the reform will be completed. Surprisingly, no details of the reform are found in the bill. Apparently, specific features of the future court system are to be determined later. No meaningful public discussion of the reform, that was proposed by Putin last June, has ever taken place. Many analysts are highly critical about the reform. Unlike the system of general jurisdiction courts, the system of arbitrazh (economic) courts headed by Anton Ivanov transformed during the last decade into a reasonably efficient and high-quality system of resolving commercial disputes. This accumulated efficiency is very likely to be lost in transition, critics say. According to rumors, the major purpose of the reform is to create a job for current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who may become the head of the unified Supreme Court.

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