Moscow City Court
"Founded in 1932 the Moscow City Court has been playing an important role in the Russian legislative system. Its competence covers the capital of the state Moscow City the largest administrative-territorial unit of the country, thus determining the role and significance of the Moscow City Court in providing justice, development and formation of qualified law staff.
Today the Moscow City Court takes the lead in the Russian legislative system, it influences greatly the formation of court practice and legal state within the country. As for the character, volume and quality of accomplishing activities it is on the first place in the legislative system of Russian Federation".
The Moscow City Court was established in the system of Moscow Region law institutions due to regulation № 100 of the General Executive Committee and National Commissar Soviet of RSFSR on the 25th of March, 1993 (according to "Caption from ascertained organization of law institutions by Providion about Judicial System of RSFSR"). Though by that time the Moscow City Court has already existed de facto and de jure. Since the end of the 20-es it has been regularly mentioned in the press. In his autobiography on the 16th of July, 1932, the first Chairman of the Moscow City Court I. Smirnov wrote that from that very date he occupied the chairman position of Moscow Regional and City Court.
There is no controversy, because at the end of the 20-es and during the 30-es in several regions of the USSR existed an intermediary unit between Rayon and Region called "District". The system of law institutions in such regions distinguished the presence of the Regional, District and Peoples Courts. In 1929 after the foundation of Moscow Region and Moscow District the Moscow Regional and District Courts were established. In 1939 during the administrative-territorial reform Moscow District was abolished, so the Moscow District Court, with some reservation can be considered as a predecessor of the Moscow City Court.
The necessity of establishment of the City Municipal Court in Moscow was evident for the lawyers and city authorities, though there were no examples of such law unit in the country. The Presidium of the Moscow City Executive Committee and Moscow Soviet issued the regulation on the establishment of structural subdivision with rather specific title "Personal Table of the Moscow City Court under the Moscow Soviet" on the 3rd of August, 1932. The decision on the Moscow City Court foundation was taken and set in appropriate in regulation on the 13th of December by the Board of the Peoples Justice Committee. The person that issued the order I. Smirnov was assigned as a chairman of the Moscow City Court and in three days proceeded to his new duties. On that day appeared the order № 2 on including in the staff of the Moscow City Court 21 members of the court and 83 workers of different occupations that also delegated the charges between the judges.
Due to this, the 16th of December, 1932 is considered to be the date of the Moscow City Court foundation. During the long time law institutions of the country were searching for the appropriate form, but were handicapped by the acting law on judicial system. They had to organize the Moscow City Court in "Caption from ascertained organization of law institutions by Provision of Judicial System in RSFSR". So the regulation affirmed on the 25th of May, 1933 by the General Executive Committee and National Commissar Soviet of RSFSR was only to legitimate the law institution that had been established earlier by subordinate authorities.
Due to regulation on the Moscow City Court, "in order to reinforce the governance of law institutions in Moscow and to strengthen the legitimacy of Revolution", it was to have charges of organization and governance of all Moscow Peoples Courts; investigation of cases of the Moscow Peoples Courts as the Court of Appeal; supervision of cases of the Moscow Peoples Courts (though the cases that were gone through the Board of Appeal of the City Court could be brought in directly in the City Court Presidium); consideration of cases referring to Regional and Territorial Courts as a Court of Primary Jurisdiction (at that the instance for the Appeal and Peoples cases is the Supreme Court of RSFSR).
The role of the Moscow City Court situated in the capital of the country from the very beginning was unique. It usually became apparent in the fact that the Chairman of the Moscow City Court, as well as his deputy and court members were assigned by the Peoples Commissar of RSFSR. The regulations of the Moscow Regional Court on general justice as of 1924 due to acting in that moment "Foundations on legal proceedings of the USSR and Union and Autonomous Republics" were obligatory for the Moscow City Court. In ten years the Moscow Regional Court was deprived of the rights on judicial supervision and governance of the Moscow City Court according to the reform of legal system in the late 30-es. The Law "On Judicial System of the USSR, Union and Autonomous Republics" was adopted on the 16th of August, 1938, according to which the governance of the USSR judicial system was entrusted to the USSR Peoples Commissariat of Justice. The issue on institutions of local juridical governance was also reviewed, up to that moment the Administrations of Commissariat of Justice should be established under the Region and Territorial Soviets. The Administration of RSFSR Commissariat of Justice was established under the Moscow Soviet and was responsible for the governance of the Moscow City Court.
In 19561957 one more reform was held, as a result new "Legislation Foundations of judicial system in the USSR, Union and Autonomous Republics" were adopted. The Ministry of Justice of the Union, the Ministries of Justice of Union Republics, Administrations of the Ministries of Justice under the Regional and Territorial Soviets and the Moscow Regional Soviet were liquidated. Meanwhile under the Council of Ministers of the USSR and Union Republics were established juridical commissions that get the functions of the liquidated Ministries of Justice. On the lower level they proceeded to the Supreme Courts of the Union and Autonomous Republics, Regional and Territorial Courts. The scheme of the USSR judicial system was as follows: The Supreme Court of the USSR Supreme Courts of the Union Republics Regional Courts City Courts. As far as the Moscow City Court was under the command of the Supreme Court of the USSR, it got the status of Regional Court.
The Moscow City Court under the Supreme Court of RSFSR got the rights of organizational instance in reference to the net of Rayon Courts and notarial offices of the city. It was under the guidance of the Supreme Court up to the 31st of August, 1970, when "The Presidium Decree of Supreme Court of the USSR" was accepted. The Decree established the Justice Departments under the Executive Committees of Regional and Territorial Soviets. The Republic Ministry of Justice was founded a year later due to the Presidium Decree of the Supreme Administration Soviet on "The establishment of the Republican Ministry of Justice" on the 24th of September, 1971. According to that Decree the Moscow City Court passed directly into authority of the Ministry of Justice of RSFSR. All functions of organizational instance were taken away from the City Court and given to the authority of the Justice Department of Ministry of Justice by the Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviet. In that time the Moscow City Court got the right to supervise Rayon Courts.
The inner structure of the Moscow City Court faced no changes. "Legislation Foundations of Judicial System" of 1958 provided the following structure: Court Presidium, Court Boards and Members. The Moscow City Court Presidium consists of the Court Chairman, his deputies and court members are elected, its staff should be accepted by the Executive Committee of the Moscow Soviet. Its task is to correct the judicial mistakes that were not eliminated timely as an appeal by the Court Board, and also to observe materials of judicial practice, statistics on crime, activities of the Court and other issues. In authority of the Court Presidium and its Chairman is affirmation of the staff, both of the Court Board on criminal and civil cases headed by the Chairman. The Court Boards consisted of several collectives of court boards. The Moscow City Court Boards considers cases as a court of the first instance and as a second appeal court. In charges of the later the appeals from the Rayon City Courts are supervised.
The Moscow City Court is to consider the most important and complicated criminal and civil cases, referred to its competence by acting laws.
The judicial reform is the most crucial event for the Russian justice. It is a part of the transformations that meet economic, political and civil systems of modern Russia that in some issues has rather a radical character.
The greatest achievement of judicial reform became the affirmation of independent legislative authorities acting in cooperation with other institutions of the state.
It has provided the high status of Russian judges and strong guaranties of judicial independence. The Federal Law "On judge status in Russian Federation" combines almost all positive experience collected by the leading democracies of the world in part of realization of judge independence.
There is a broaden access to justice for citizens of the state that provides the protection of rights and liberties without any limitations. In the competence of legislative authorities comes the regulation of any legal conflicts occurring in society, as well as protection of the right and protection of the breaches. Competitiveness; the right on case consideration in presence of jury board, presumption of innocence; the right of arrested to be immediately delivered to a judge; the right not to give evidence against oneself and relatives; the right to appeal to court, against its acts and decisions accepted while the preliminary investigation; the right to review the verdict by the court of higher instance and the ban of repeated admonition are among democratic principles of justice that are set on constitutional level. The Constitution of Russian Federation lets the limitations of rights on liberty and personal immunity, inviolability of privacy, sanctity of home, correspondence, telephone and telegraph negotiations only due to court decision. Realization of these and other constitutional norms in the Criminal Code of Practice of Russian Federation lets renew judicial procedure, bring it to a modern level that meet world acknowledged standards of justice.
Russian Federation is integrated in the international legal community and acknowledges the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. On the one side it helps to broaden the sphere of judicial defense of rights and liberties of Russian citizens, on the other raises the requirements towards quality of justice and terms of case consideration in court.
The successful implementation of the modern legislative base of legal procedure, introduction of new approaches into law practice is impossible without responsible attitude and high judicial culture of every judge, especially of those working in the capital of the state. It is the high professionalism, competence and attention to clients that are distinguishing qualities of most of the Moscow City Court judges.
The institution of trial held by jury firstly appeared in Moscow in 2003. The office working with jurors responsible among others for the call of the candidate for concrete criminal procedure was established under the Moscow City Court. The eleven halls for trial jury meetings and special rooms for juror consultations are provided in the building of the Court.
Any citizen of Russian Federation over 25, having higher education in the field of justice and work experience not less than 5 years, which committed no detractive acts, passed the qualifying exam and is recommended by qualification board of the appropriate subject of Russian Federation can become a magistrate. The guaranties of independence, inviolability, material and social support set by the Law of Russian Federation "On Status of Judges in Russian Federation" and other laws cover the magistrates and members of their families. Magistrates are judges of general jurisdiction and are part of united judicial system of Russian Federation. The main goal of magistracy revival is to bring nearer justice to people and make it accessible for the citizens.
The Moscow City Court supports the idea of establishment of juvenile justice, and some juvenile mechanisms are already used in the practice of Moscow Courts. For instance, in May of 2004 under the Moscow City Court established a special panel for consideration of criminal cases committed by juveniles coming from different Rayon Courts of Moscow. The most experienced and qualified judges were charged with the supervision of those cases. The criminal cases referring to juveniles can be considered with participation of teachers, legal representatives of juveniles, social workers if not restricted by law. The regular consultations and special training are held with Rayon Court judges and magistrates investigating the criminal cases referring to juveniles. Such measures let improve the quality of judicial activities in juvenile cases.
Chairman of the 8th judicial panel Markov Sergey Mikhailovich
Administrative legal procedure
In contrast to criminal and civil legal proceedings the investigation of administrative breaches of law is held by different institutions of administrative jurisdiction, among which are executive authorities, their officials, Rayon Court judges, Military Court judges, Arbitration Court judges and magistrates. The cases on administrative crimes are considered in the order set by norms of the Code of Russian Federation on infringement of administrative law. The 8th judicial panel of civil board of the Moscow City Court is in charge of consideration of administrative crimes and cases appeared as a result of public relations (on defense of electoral right). The necessity to establish the 8th judicial panel occurred due to introduction of the new Code of Russian Federation on administrative breaches which took in consideration that the amount of such cases recently has dramatically grown. The most of the cases considered by the 8th judicial panel refer to: breaches in the field of traffic; against the set order, including non-fulfillment of directions of supervising institution (or an official) in set terms; in the sphere of defense of the country borders and provision of foreigners stay on the territory of Russian Federation. The legal procedure of cases appeared in consequence of public relations, including the defense of electoral rights and right to participate in referendum is held according to the order of civil legal proceedings. The 8th judicial panel as a court of the 2nd instance verifies the regulations of Rayon Courts of Moscow. Nowadays the 8th judicial panel is checking the legality of regulations on administrative cases carried out by Rayon Courts within the sphere of their competence, and also the decisions of Rayon Courts on review of regulations adopted by institutions of administrative jurisdiction and officials.
Chairman of Administrative Judicial Panel Maksimov Konstantin Mikhailovich