Russian president calls for court reform

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for reform to Russia’s legal system which he believes should take a more balanced approach to arrest and imprisonment.

In an annual address to the Federal Assembly, he said: “It would be wrong to forget about such a crucial issue as humanisation of the law and the procedure of its application. The courts should take a more balanced approach towards choosing arrest as a restrictive measure and handing down punishments involving the isolation of individuals from society.”

The Russian leader also called for changes in the court system. He proposed a law that would make it more transparent and mean access to information on court activities was more widely available.

And he voiced his intention to propose a law that will make the term of legal investigation shorter, so that a legal case could not be deliberately delayed. 

He said that these changes will introduce clearer procedures which will reinforce the national mechanism of implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Russia and ensure people’s rights in a fair judiciary.  

President Medvedev told his audience that Russia has a serious problem of executing courts' decisions, which is also true for the Constitution court. 

“It is the lack of responsibility on the part of both court officials and citizens who don't follow court's decisions. Such responsibility should be introduced,” he said.

“I have ordered the preparation of a report on whether the issues that are within the remit of justices of the peace could be transferred to the federal level. Solving this problem, although certain expenses will have to be made, will enable completion of a well-organized vertical  structure of the judiciary.”