The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Initiated Amendments to the Procedure for Appeals in Civil Proceedings

On June 25, 2024, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation published the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation No. 22 on the submission to the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the draft federal law "On Amendments to the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation" (hereinafter - the "Resolution").

The key changes introduced by the Resolution concern the mechanism of appeal in civil proceedings. In the current version of the Civil Procedure Code, such actions as verification of appeals for compliance with the requirements, suspension of the appeal and reset of the missed procedural term, are carried out at the first instance court. Consequently, the movement of an appeal depends entirely on the discretion of the court that issued the decision under appeal.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation proposes to transfer the above powers to the competence of the court of appeal. If the amendments are adopted, the decision on the admissibility of the appeal and the reset of a missed term will be resolved directly by the court of appeal. The changes will not affect the filing of an appeal itself, it still will have to be sent to the first instance court, and until the expiration of the appeal term all case materials will stay there to provide the parties with the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the case materials, filed objections, and the court - to make technical corrections (e.g. correcting misprints, arithmetical inaccuracies)1

It should be noted separately that under commercial disputes procedure a similar mechanism of appealing is currently in place, and procedural decisions on the appeal are made by the court of appeal. Accordingly, adopting the Resolution is aimed at harmonization of the rules in civil and commercial proceedings with regard to appeals.

Regarding the issue of reset of missed procedural terms there is also a novelty in the Resolution. In the current version of the Code of Civil Procedure, their reset is possible only in a court hearing with mandatory notification of the parties. The Supreme Court proposes to resolve the issue of restoration of missed terms by a single judge with discretionary power to hold a court hearing. However, in the appeal proceedings the issue of missed terms reset will always be resolved without holding a court hearing and notifying the parties.

The amendments will also make it possible to exclude the appeal and appellate review of first instance court rulings on the admissibility of appeals or the reset of missed procedural terms. This should reduce the length of the appeal process and make the mechanism for accepting appeals for consideration more effective.

The Bill No. 657699-8 "On Amending to the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation" will be considered in the near future by the State Duma of the Russian Federation, its content and status can be found at the link.

1 Explanatory Note to Bill No. 657699-8 "On Amending the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation"