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Russian judicial system (description)


RefereeThe Russian judicial system consists of: the RF Supreme Court, republic supreme courts, okrug courts, regional courts, Moscow and St.Petersburg city courts, autonomous region courts, autonomous okrug courts, district (city) courts and military courts. The RF Supreme Court is a higher judicial body dealing with civil, criminal, administrative and other cases considered to be within their authority by general jurisdiction courts supervising their activity.

The judicial system in Russia is structured according to two basic principles, implying that decisions and sentences which did not come into force can be appealed only once and only at the immediately superior court. Higher courts’ decisions and sentences cannot be appealed or protested. In civil and criminal cases there are courts of primary jurisdiction, courts of appeal and higher courts, which arbitrate lower courts sentences and decisions already in force.

Special courts — the Constitutional Court, whose authorities are defined by the Constitution, and the Higher Court of Arbitration — play a particular role in the exercising of judicial power in Russia.

98—99% of all civil and criminal cases are judged by general courts at the lowest levels, called people’s (district and city) courts. They also judge administrative offenses, complaints about unlawfulness and unfounded arrests and implement courts’ decisions concerning property confiscation etc. There are 2,454 public (district or city) courts in Russia with 13,000 judges. 85 courts of the RF (region, krai, and republic) with a staff of 2,800 judges constitute the next link of general courts. They judge the most difficult cases, taken on at their own initiative, cases where death sentences may be given. They also regulate the lawfulness and validity of sentences and other public court decisions which did not come into force.


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