Specialists from St Petersburg University have analysed and made some suggestions regarding the draft regulation of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ‘On the application by the courts of legislative provisions on administrative procedure governing proceedings in the appellate court’. The adoption of the regulation may result in a change in judicial practice.

The purpose of adopting this regulation is to ensure the consistency of judicial practice and to establish the legal grounds for interpretation and application of the current legislation. ‘In this case we are talking about the Code of Administrative Judicial Procedure and the application of its provisions to appeals against decisions of the first-instance courts. The document regulates everyday court practice in thousands of cases; it is a document for repeated application,’ said Professor Mikhail Shvartz from St Petersburg University.

The preparation of this type of document begins with a review of the text in the judicial chambers of the Supreme Court followed by the Scientific-Consultative Council of the Supreme Court. The draft is then sent to the leading Russian legal schools for reviews and feedback. Finally, the working group of the Supreme Court submits the draft for the Plenary Session, the general assembly of judges of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, to approve the document in two readings.

St Petersburg University is one of the leading centres of expertise in Russia. It conducts more than 2,000 expert evaluations annually for: the government; presidential administration; bodies of all branches of government; legal entities; and individuals. As a federal expert institution, St Petersburg University also participates in monitoring the regulatory acts to assess: whether the aims of the adopted law have been achieved; and how it is implemented in practice.

The experts from St Petersburg University noted that the draft regulation of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation presented for public discussion was very timely. Its adoption would: eliminate practical problems; ensure the consistency of approaches of different courts; and eliminate errors that hinder the right to appeal against judicial acts that have not come into force.

Mikhail Shvartz noted that the comments and suggestions on the text were of an editing and substantive nature.

Among editorial remarks is a comment on the wording that entitles the appeal court to review judicial acts that have not been appealed but are inextricably linked to the judicial act under appeal. Substantive suggestions include the need to review, on the death of a party to the proceedings, the judicial practice of suspending only the appeal proceedings and not the proceedings as a whole, irrespective of whether it is the appellant or the opposing party that has deceased.

 Professor Mikhail Shvartz, St Petersburg University

These comments were taken into consideration in preparing the final version of the document.

According to the professor, government bodies need expert analysis as they lack free analytical resources. 'Such interaction allows the University to examine the most topical issues of current practice, make them the subject of scientific analysis, and ensure the necessary relevance of the educational process by discussing them in classrooms,' said Mikhail Shvartz.