“A cut above”
The Chairman of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, April 24, discussed the quality of draft laws at a meeting with members of the legislative Council in Saint-Petersburg. The President said that in Russian society “established respect for parliamentary activities,” but acknowledged that has not yet achieved a systematic approach to the creation of the legislative base”.
“The bills do not always have in-depth and comprehensive study. Little consideration to expert and scientific evaluation,” — said the President. He complained of “an unwarranted rush and bustle” with the introduction of the bills. It is the fault not only of parliamentarians, but “colleagues from the Executive power,” he added.
Volodin, in turn, said that some of the best quality bills go to the state Duma from the President and from the government. These projects are “a head taller” than the initiatives of deputies, senators, regional parliaments, said the speaker of the lower house. The difference in quality of draft laws is connected with the fact that in the preparation of Ministerial and Kremlin documents used “solid expertise of the ministries, the leading expert centres and universities”.
Legislative initiative of deputies shall not be less elaborated character, said Volodin. “Often to us for consideration are very important for the citizens of legislative initiative. But we have to reject them just because they are poorly designed or are not properly”, — he explained.
The Duma had earlier ordered the government to provide information on the preparation of draft regulations before third reading of bills recalled Volodin, Putin. According to the speaker of the state Duma, this should improve the quality of legislation and speed up their execution, and some laws over the years “are on the shelves” and can not be implemented due to the lack of a legal framework.
The President in turn urged the Duma to approach this issue, “creatively”, as it is not always possible to prepare in advance the entire package of bylaws because members often make their amendments and it is not entirely clear what will be the final form of the law itself.
Not just “compete” with the Cabinet
The quality of the Duma’s initiatives while not always perfect, I agree the MP from the faction “United Russia” Yevgeny Revenko. According to him, MPs often lack the expertise, while, say, in the parliaments of the individual countries ‘ MP sometimes “gives the idea to the experts and gets the bill under the key. In this convocation of the state Duma “a lot of newcomers who have a lot of ideas, but little experience,” said Revenko. To improve the quality initiatives he proposed the deputies “not to rush and more likely to consult with experienced colleagues.”
The state Duma just can’t “compete” with the government and the presidential administration on securing resources for the preparation of bills, I agree spravoross Michael Yemelyans. He believes that the deputies have access to the opportunities of the governmental expert institutes would improve the quality of legislation. But it is not always just as he stated. “The draft laws of opposition factions sometimes are not because they are not worked, but for political reasons. Then these same initiatives are made on behalf of the government and accepted. This was a perpetual law on privatization of housing, which suggested that originally the opposition,” says Emelianov.
Earlier, MPs were encouraged not to pay the bills without prior discussion with the faction. In mid-April, the head of the Duma Committee for security and combating corruption Vasily Piskarev and his Deputy Ernest Valeev (both from the faction “United Russia”) withdrew his bill on the police after the remark Deputy speaker Sergei Neverov that the initiative was not agreed. Following a recommendation from the faction United Russia have withdrawn their signatures under the draft law LDPR about the burial of Lenin.
The analyst Abbas Gallyamov said that frankly has not worked, and controversial initiatives in the Duma became much less and the rate of improvement of the quality of the bills is justified. “It is important not to cross the thin line: quality improvement should not be at the expense of limiting the freedom of parliamentary initiatives, — says the expert. — After all the Deputy is the representative of the interests of their constituents. It is important to ensure the equality of fractions”.