Top government attorney casts light on Russian judiciary problems
MOSCOW, September 26 (RAPSI) – Leading government attorney Mikhail Barshchevsky elucidated some of the problems gripping the Russian judiciary Thursday at a conference celebrating 20th anniversary of the modern Russian Constitution, which is being held in Moscow.
Barshchevsky, who serves as the Russian government’s representative to the higher courts, claims that the judicial branch has to file new applications for financing each year. He suggests that a law should be adopted instead which will fix a financing program for several years at a stretch.
Judicial salaries are another sensitive issue, according to Barshchevsky, who claims that wages should be raised significantly.
He is not alone here. Supreme Commercial Court Chairman Anton Ivanov brought this topic to the surface last May. The problem still endures, despite efforts to change the situation, he said at a judicial council meeting then. The personnel turnover in the Moscow Commercial Court reaches 90% a year, and most people quit because of low salaries, according to Ivanov.
Notably, the Upper house approved a law stipulating the increase of wages for judges depending on their qualification class, degree and knowledge of foreign languages last December. The law increases the average monthly earnings of commercial court judges to 150,000 rubles ($4,773), and to 132,000 rubles ($4,200) for general jurisdiction court judges.
Barshchevsky further touched upon the problem of judicial nomination. Judges should only be appointed out of those who have a significant professional legal background, Barshchevsky said. He added that in a number or European countries, a nominee for the judicial bench should gain up three to seven years of experience.
Another problem raised by Barshchevsky was that of pressure against judges. He suggests stripping officials of their posts if they get involved in suspicious activities linked to the pressuring of judges, while lawmakers should be dismissed at once as well.
In order to increase judicial independence Barshchevsky suggests that the procedure of their dismissal should be reorganized. He suggests that Russian judges should go through impeachment in parliament.