The reformers of the proceedings had forgotten defendants

The Plenum of the Supreme Court has recently adopted major changes of a procedural nature to several existing codes. According to experts, most of these innovations facilitate the work of judges, but the opportunities and rights of the parties to the process limit.


Meanwhile, in judicial practice there are situations in which the interpretation of the current legislation specific performers are very different, which gives outsiders reason to suspect some of the judges of bias, and then difficult to explain the loyalty of one of the parties in the case. A vivid example can serve as a corporate dispute Togliattiazot and URALCHEM, developed into a high-profile criminal case continued for several years, the investigation of which has already recorded several such misunderstandings. Perhaps in the further reform of judicial legislators ought to take into account such incidents?

According to the lawyer of the Moscow office of law firm “Ilyashev and partners” Ivan Stasyuk, the plenary amended the Civil procedure code, Arbitration procedure code and the Code of administrative procedure. “The change was massive, but all of them — judges — suggests the expert. — On the whole the bill does not add to the capabilities and rights of the parties to a dispute, or even limit them.”

However, the participants of the process today depend not only on the objective circumstances of Affairs, but the mood of the judges. Causing sometimes develop the legal conflict, to resolve which account for the appeal. Such examples are abundant in a criminal case in the framework of the corporate conflict around the chemical plant “Togliattiazot”. Thus, recently it became known that one of the lawyers on the case suddenly find themselves faced with the proposal of the judge to examine several thousand pages of complex material per day, supplemented with ten terabytes of information on electronic media and exhibits, and the newly appointed counsel of the other accused simply denied in the case of an explicit opposition from the prosecution.

As has told the lawyer of one of the accused in this trial Andrei Moscow, the investigation team was collecting evidence for five years, forming more than 450 volumes of criminal case. Two months of hard work the lawyer had to see 52 of them. The prosecution found this to be the speed of the defender intentional delaying of the process and appealed to the Basmanny district court of Moscow with the petition for restriction of the period of review by the defense case. The judge went to meet the representatives of URALCHEM, although the direct question of Moscow, what is the delay on his part expressed, no response was given, with the result that the court’s decision was devoid of actually required by law in the reasoning part.

Defending the rights of his client, the lawyer was forced to appeal against this procedural decision to the Moscow city court, which confirmed his innocence, abolishing the controversial restriction of the period of familiarization with the materials of the case and the assigned judge of the Basmanny court decision to provide 11 working days on a study of more than 400 volumes. It is obvious that to convince the judge of the Basmanny court of the first argument of the victims that he took one month to be familiar with all the criminal case, and the second, and even more so just one day to see five hundred volumes of the criminal case (!), seemed absurd not only to the lawyer but to the judges of the higher court.

Another procedural incident of this case is associated with the introduction of the new lawyer of another defendant. Representatives of the Investigative Committee hindered its connection to the process, and the Basmanny court them somehow condone. All the necessary documents with fixation of delivery to enable the new lawyer to the defense team was represented in the UK on 9 October, however, the consequence of this fact is simply to deny. Surprisingly, the complaint in Basmanny court protection for this reason, too, was shelved. Although by law it must be considered within five days, that is not later than October 16, the court had already appointed on 3 November.

With all this the request of the investigation literally “fly” through the Basmanny court with unprecedented for the Russian justice speed — their review usually takes 2-3 days, and about any multi-week red tape out of the question. This legal dissonance (the infringement of the rights of the defence in comparison with the rights of the prosecution) is clearly not consistent with the requirements of the law, according to which all parties to the process are equal.

This and similar situations, you might want to pay attention to the authors of new editions of national codes. Because while they care mainly about the simplification of work of the judges and not about improving the objectivity of their work…

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