Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Russia: New Decree To Monitor Law Enforcement And Execution Of Court Decisions

Posted by Info on 23/05/2011

President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree ordering the Justice Ministry to monitor law enforcement and the execution of court decisions and to provide annual progress reports, making a direct link between the quality of the legal environment and Moscow’s ambition to become a global financial center.The announcement about the presidential decree came two days after Medvedev declared that Russia would honor its obligations to the European Court of Human Rights.

Problems with enforcing laws, lack of respect for the courts, and corruption are not just issues affecting our public life but are macroeconomic factors holding back our national wealth growth and putting a brake on our efforts to carry out economic decisions and social initiatives,”
the president said at the opening of the first International Legal Forum in St. Petersburg.
Nearly 500 legal experts attended, including former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder; Hans van Loon, secretary general of the Hague Conference on Private International Law; and International Bar Association president Akira Kawamura.

Russian courts lack resources and qualified judges and lawyers. The average judge is overwhelmed with 59 cases a month, about double the acceptable amount. The Justice Ministry is economizing on judges. More funds should be earmarked for salaries in order to hire more judges. Judicial salaries should be boosted to a level that bribes would not seem so attractive.
Problems that arise from the lack of resources include judges accepting bribes and hastily made decisions that allow them to move on to the next case.

Alternative arbitration, or courts independent of the state, currently exist in Russia, but because of a lack of regulation, there are many unqualified courts and judges are not liable for bad decisions. Recently the Supreme Arbitration Court started allowing cases to be filed electronically, publishing court materials and broadcasting sessions online.

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