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City news, 20.07.2010 18:17
Judicial system crucial to country's prestigeA country’s reputation ultimately depends on what kind of a judicial system it has. The statement came from Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting in the office of the Supreme Court in St. Petersburg: "Much depends on how our country’s judicial system will work – the wellbeing of our citizens and confidence that their rights will not be violated, and should any violation occur, they will be restored. The investment climate and, ultimately, the prestige and reputation of our country as a modern and fast-developing state depend on this."
Mr. Medvedev spoke about problems facing the Russian judiciary. These include professional training for judges and their moral commitment to their job, and also the mechanism of attracting jurors.
At the same time, he said that despite the difficulties, things were moving in the right direction:"We now have a whole set of laws passed in recent years and ensuring the observance of international standards in this sphere. I hope that the quality of justice has improved thanks to a federal program for the judiciary, which has been steadily implemented. The material and technical base of our courts has been strengthened and the salaries of judges and court employees have visibly grown."
Dwelling on extrajudicial and pre-trial mechanisms of settling disputes, Mr. Medvedev said they should be encouraged, especially the institute of mediation, as this would make it possible to unburden courts. He called for improving the judgment execution system, which, he said left much to be desired.
Constitutional Court Chairman Konstantin Zorkin, for his part, said courts of general jurisdiction and criminal courts hand down too many guilty verdicts, a trend, he believes, needs to be overcome.
Chairman of the Supreme Court of Arbitration Anton Ivanov urged less paperwork and more electronic services, which, in turn, requires a practice when most contacts between courts and litigants are carried out through lawyers. Summing up the remarks made, the president said that imperfect though it may be, the widespread opinion that Russia’s judicial system was hopelessly backward was totally unfair.
News source: The Voice of Russia
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