The Committee of civil initiatives (CGI), former Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Kudrin, legal company “Pepeliaev Group” and the Institute of law administration has prepared a study on the problems of the judicial system and ways of reforming it. Research (has) based on a survey of 255 experts, including participants of the VI St. Petersburg international legal forum. Another part of respondents answered the questions on the official websites of the organizations and on the website of the expert Council under the government.
More than 80% of respondents cited the main problem of the dependence of judges on court presidents and governments.
The reason for this lies in the system of appointment of judges, agreed to the interviewed experts. Now all the applicants for the position of a judge or the President of the court of first are selected in the qualification Board of judges. In the case of a positive opinion of the Board their data is sent to the personnel Committee under the President, which could either reject their candidature or to submit it to assign to the President. When you merge the Supreme court and the Supreme arbitration court in 2014, a judge from the arbitration system and the courts of the regional managers were not selected in the personnel Committee under the President.
The role of the personnel Committee in such appointment opaque, conclude the study authors. The existing order allows the Executive to have a significant influence on the judiciary through the mechanism of reassignment of the chairmen and Vice-chairmen of courts, appointment of judges to higher posts,” writes one of the authors of the report Kirill Titaev.
For situation correction it is necessary to prohibit the personnel Committee under the President to choose judges, found more than half of the respondents.
The same staffing problems were identified and the concept of judicial reform of 1991, recalls the judge of Moscow city court in the resignation of Sergei Pashin. According to him, the personnel Commission under the President mainly includes representatives of law enforcement agencies. “They are the purposeful selection of the obedient judges who will make the decision easy,” says the retired judge.
To abolish the personnel Commission is not necessary, only need to change its structure — to make it human rights activists and lawyers, says Pashin. Now the head of the Commission is the President of the Supreme court Vyacheslav Lebedev. It consists of 15 people, including advisors and assistants to the President, the Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor grin, Deputy interior Minister Mikhail Vanichkin and first Deputy Director of FSB Sergey Smirnov, and the Chairman of the Council on human rights Mikhail Fedotov and the member of Public chamber lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
A source in the forensic community believes that the personnel Commission recently really tightened the requirements for judges. “It is incorrect to say that this is the root of all evil” — said the source . Many candidates do not receive a recommendation for objective reasons, are coming to light after checks of the personnel Committee. The dissatisfaction with the work of the personnel Committee is in the judicial community, he says.
To limit the term
The dependence of the judiciary is not the only problem cited by the respondents. 83% of respondents believe that judges are overloaded with work. For their loading it is necessary to increase the number of judges and staff, suggested that more than half of respondents.
More than 73% of respondents in the report, OIG agreed with the proposal to limit the powers of the presidents to one term lasting three years. And more than half of the respondents considered that before the appointment of the judges should gain work experience outside the judicial system. In recent years, according to the authors of the study, the judiciary is almost completely replenished from the court staff members and former employees of the Prosecutor’s office. 70% of respondents said the lack of “predictability of the judicial process”.
“We are not familiar with the results of this study and in this regard we can not objectively assess its fundamental nature”, — said the head of the press service of the Supreme court Pavel Odintsov.
To any objective result without having to query the existing professionals of the judicial sector, is difficult, especially when it comes to such categories as “qualitative research”, drew attention Odintsov. “If you take expert interviews the losers of the arbitration process lawyer or group of lawyers, ex-judges, dismissed because of the inconsistency of service, an investigator, a case which collapsed in the consideration of the court, it is unlikely that the evaluation will be objective. If we insist that judges depend on presidents, and secretaries of court sessions for a lifetime professionally engaged by and deformed, the result of the study will be too predictable. In short, in the preparation of technical tasks is very important to understand what the motivation and goal-setting researchers,” said Odintsov.