Compensation introduced for protracted court proceedings or court ruling execution.

12.05.2010

Legal update No. 143.

Goltsblat BLP advises that Federal Law of 30 April 2010 No. 68-FZ “On Compensation for Violation of the Right to Performance of Court Proceedings within a Reasonable Time or the Right to Enforcement of a Court Ruling within a Reasonable Time” (hereinafter – “the Federal Law”) has been adopted. In conjunction with the above Federal Law, two other federal laws introducing relevant amendments into the legislation have also been passed. All the federal laws came into effect on 4 May 2010.

Introduction of the above compensation is deemed to establish a mechanism in Russia ensuring reimbursement for adverse consequences of excessively lengthy court proceedings or unreasonably protracted enforcement of a court ruling, as an alternative to applying to the European Human Rights Court.

Russian and foreign citizens, Russian, foreign and international organisations that are party to an action or a third party with independent claims, recoverers, debtors, as well as suspects, alleged offenders, indictees, defendants, convicts, acquits, affected persons, civil plaintiffs and civil defendants in criminal proceedings, have been granted the right to apply to court or arbitration court seeking compensation if their right to court proceedings taking a reasonable time or a court ruling providing for recovery of funds from the budget being executed within a reasonable time has been violated.

The Federal Law regulates in detail the procedure and timelines  for submitting a compensation application. The compensation is awarded by a court or arbitration court in monetary form, in an amount determined in consideration of the applicant’s requirements, the circumstances of the case, the duration and consequences of the violation, as well as the principles of reasonableness and fairness, and the practice of the European Human Rights Court. The court decision may be challenged.

Other federal laws adopted to amend the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation, Arbitration Procedure Code of the Russian Federation and Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation determine the criteria for calculating the reasonable time needed for court proceedings and execution of court rulings: the legal and actual complexity of the case, of the conduct of the parties to the trial, the adequacy and efficiency of the court actions taken to ensure timely consideration of the case, the adequacy and efficiency of enforcement actions, the overall duration of the court proceedings and court ruling execution. A number of new procedural practices have also been  introduced:

  • submission by interested persons of an application to accelerate the proceedings in an arbitration court or court of general jurisdiction;
  • consideration of the above application by the Chairman of the arbitration court or the court of general jurisdiction within 5 days, resulting in a motivated ruling that may establish a date for a court session or indicate other actions to accelerate the proceedings on the case;
  • prolongation of the consideration period by the arbitration court Chairman, upon a motivated request of the judge trying the case in reference to  extraordinary complexity of the case or large number of case participants. In practice, this means that judges dealing with the case may not now extend the duration of arbitration proceedings without approval from the chairman of the relevant court.

The above set of federal laws demonstrates the intention to speed up delivery of justice. Even so, considering persistent claims from judges of all levels regarding overloaded schedules, such acceleration may have a mixed effect on the quality of court rulings on the merits.

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