Russian Superior Court Sessions to Be Made Available Online
May 28 – Russia’s Supreme Commercial Court plans to start online broadcasting of its sessions, the chairman of the court Anton Ivanov told Vedomosti.
“We are testing the records system now, by the beginning of June records will be available on the court web site with one day delay, and by the end of the month online broadcasting should start,” said SCC staff head Igor Drozdov.
According to Drozdov, by October 2010, court rooms will be renovated to allow broadcasting of any court event including court plenary sessions. “Discussion sessions on recommendations on judiciary practice will become the most popular,” he said.
The Constitutional Court of Russia is also going to broadcast its sessions on the Internet; with an updated court web site o debut by July 1. The country’s Supreme Court does not plan any Internet broadcasting, SC representative Pavel Odintsov said. There are some doubts whether it corresponds with the law on the personal data and case parties interests.
“This is good idea,” Baker and McKenzie partner Vladimir Hvalej said. “It will increase transparency in legal proceedings.” Some believe that more important is to create a uniform electronic judgment database, similar to the model operating in the United States, and also the possibility to submit claims on electronic carriers.
The free uniform database of Commercial Court verdicts is already working in the country, but there isn’t any source of judgment for the courts of general jurisdiction.
According to the federal law on access to information on court activities, which will come into force on July 1, all types of courts will be obliged to publish judgments on their web sites. The Judicial department at the Supreme Court estimates that within a year about 17 to 18 million civil and criminal cases can be published on the Internet.
Hvalej believes that “this can help to tackle the inadequate behavior of some judges as well as some parties and also can facilitate cases when the last verdict was completely different from the previous one.” The Moscow Commercial Court has already started recording the hearing session of its cases. “It is looked through in case of complaints against the judge’s behavior or decision,” a court representative explains. Online publication of court hearings is not very common in other countries and there is no Internet broadcasting from court rooms in the United States or in Europe.