The Supreme Court has explained the procedure of application of international private law rules

17 August 2018

On 30 July 2018, the Federal Constitutional Law № 1 FKZ “On amending the Federal Constitutional law „On the Judicial System of the Russian Federation“ and certain Federal Constitutional Laws in regard to creating general jurisdiction courts of cassation and general jurisdiction appellate courts” dated 29 July 2018 was published. In respect thereof, the system of judicial review is changing. According to the new law, the judicial system will be as follows:

First instance Appeal Cassation appeal (tier 1) Cassation appeal (tier 2) Supervisory appeal
District court Court of the constituent entity Court of cassation Judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of the RF Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF
Court of the constituent entity Appellate court Court of cassation Judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of the RF Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation Judicial chamber on appeal of the Supreme Court of the RF No review No review Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF
Garrison court Circuit/naval court Military court of cassation Judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of the RF Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF
Circuit/naval court Military court of appeal Military court of cassation Judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of the RF Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF
Justice of the peace District court Court of cassation Judicial chamber of the Supreme Court of the RF Presidium of the Supreme Court of the RF

Within the scope of the ongoing reformation, special judicial circuits will be created. These judicial circuits do not match the judicial circuits of commercial (Arbitrazh) courts and the federal circuits of the Russian Federation.

Appellate courts

General jurisdiction appellate courts hear appeal petitions and re-examine decisions on the basis of new and newly discovered facts. General jurisdiction appellate courts only hear appeals on judicial acts that have not come into legal force passed by courts of the constituent entities at first instance.

Nevertheless, since newly organized courts will be named “appeal”, there are concerns that parties will file appeals on district court decisions in appeal courts.

Appeallate courts will consist of a presidium and three judicial chambers: on civil, administrative and criminal cases. A president of the court and his assistants will be appointed for six years from among the judges of this court.

Presidium will consist of a president of the court, his assistants and other judges of the court.

The system of appeal courts will be as follows:

Courts of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation Appeal circuit
Regional (oblast`) courts: Belgorod, Bryansk, Vladimir, Voronezh, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kostroma, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow Region, Novgorod, Orel, Pskov, Ryazan, Smolensk, Tambov, Tver, Tula, Yaroslavl Citycourts: Moscow First—Moscow
Supreme courts of republics: Komi, Karelia Courts of autonomous areas: Nenets, Khanty-Mansi — Yugra, Yamal-Nenets Regional (oblast`) courts: Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kurgan, Leningrad, Murmansk, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk Citycourts: St. Petersburg Second— St. Petersburg
Supreme courts of republics: Adygea, Kalmykia, Crimea, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya, North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya Territory (krai) courts: Krasnodar, Stavropol Regional (oblast`) courts: Astrakhan, Volgograd, Rostov City courts: Sevastopol Third — Sochi (Krasnodar Territory(Krai))
Supreme Сourts of republics: Bashkortostan, Mari El, Mordovia, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Chuvash Territory (krai) courts: Perm Regional (oblast`) courts: Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, Orenburg, Penza, Samara, Saratov, Ulyanovsk Fourth — Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novgorod Region (Oblast`))
Supreme Сourts of republics: Altai, Buryatia, Tuva, Sakha (Yakutia), Khakassia Territory (krai) courts: Altai, ZabaikalskiyKrai, Kamchatka, Krasnoyarsk, Primorsky, Khabarovsk Regional (oblast`) courts: Amur, Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Magadan, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Sakhalin, Tomsk Courts of autonomous areas: Chukotka Courts of autonomous regions: Jewish Fifth— Novosibirsk (Novosibirsk Region (Oblast`))

Cassation court

The new law grants cassation courts the same powers to hear cases as presidiums of the regional (oblast`) courts have now. Consequently, the presidiums will lose the functions of cassation review.

Previously chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation V.M. Lebedev proposed1 to make cassation review not «selective», but «continuous», so, the powers of cassation courts may be changed in the future. Out of 530,000 cassation appeals in civil, administrative and criminal cases only about 18,000 have been submitted for consideration for 2017, representing approximately 3 per cent of the all cases1 .

Cassation courts will hear cassation appeals against judicial decisions which acts that have not come into legal force , regardless whether appeal was considered in courts of the constituent entities or in appellate courts as and re-examine decisions on the basis of new and newly discovered facts.

The structure and formation procedure of cassation courts are similar to the appellate courts: a president of the court, his assistants and three judicial chambers.

The law stipulates the following cassation districts:

Regions Cassation districts
Republics: Mordovia Regions (oblast`): Belgorod, Bryansk, Voronezh, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Orel, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Penza, Saratov, Tula First —Saratov (Saratov Region(Oblast`))
Regions (oblast`): Vladimir, Ivanovo, Kostroma, Ryazan, Smolensk, Tambov, Tver, Yaroslavl Cities: Moscow Second — Moscow
Republics: Karelia, Komi Regions (oblast`): Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Murmansk, Novgorod, Pskov Cities: St. Petersburg Autonomous Areas: Nenets Third — St. Petersburg
Republics: Adygea, Kalmykia, Crimea Territories (krai): Krasnodar Regions (oblast`): Astrakhan, Volgograd, Rostov Cities: Sevastopol Fourth—Krasnodar (Krasnodar Territory (Krai))
Republics: Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkarian, Karachay-Cherkess, North Ossetia-Alania, Chechnya Territories (krai): Stavropol Fifth — Pyatigorsk (Stavropol Territory(Krai))
Republics: Bashkortostan, Mari El, Tatarstan, Udmurt, Chuvashia Regions (oblast`): Kirov, Orenburg, Samara, Ulyanovsk Sixth — Samara (Samara Region(Oblast`))
Regions (oblast`): Kurgan, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk Territories (krai): Perm Autonomous areas: Khanty-Mansi — Yugra, Yamal-Nenets Seventh — Chelyabinsk (Chelyabinsk Region(Oblast`))
Republics: Altai, Buryatia, Tyva, Khakassia Territories (krai): Altai, Trans-Baikal, Krasnoyarsk Regions (oblast`): Irkutsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Omsk Region, Tomsk Eighth — Kemerovo (Kemerovo Region(Oblast`))
Republics: Sakha (Yakutia) Territories (krai): Kamchatka, Primorye, Khabarovsk Regions (oblast`): Amur, Magadan, Sakhalin Autonomous region (oblast`): Jewish Autonomous areas: Chukotka Ninth — Vladivostok (Primorye Territory(Krai))

To increase accessibility to justice the law allowed creation of permanent presence of judgment seat of appellate courts and cassation courts, which will be located outside the permanent seat of the courts.

In general, the reform will indeed separate appellate courts and courts of cassation, that will have favorable impact on their independence.

2According to statistics of the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court for 2017, section 8 and 9: