State Duma Committee approves bill expanding jury trial in Russia
MOSCOW, April 18 (RAPSI) – The State Duma Committee for Civil, Criminal, Commercial and Procedural Law has recommended that the lower house pass in the first reading on April 22 a presidential bill that would expand practice of jury trials, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.
During All-Russian conference of judges in February, Putin said that the current system of creating jury panels is far from perfect and ineffective; field of jurors’ work should be extended.
The initiative is aimed at expanding the use of jury trial for further development and strengthening of democratic fundamental principles of criminal procedure, enhancement of justice openness and citizens’ trust towards court system, according to an explanatory note attached to the document.
Under the bill, individuals accused of committing grave crimes against person submitted to jurisdiction of a district court and garrison military court would gain a right to apply for trial by a panel of judges of a district court or federal general jurisdiction court and six jurors.
According to an explanatory note to the draft law, district courts will be able to consider in a jury trial criminal cases on murder of two or more persons; infringement on life of public officials, judges, and law enforcement officers; genocide; intended infliction of damage to health negligently caused death of a victim.
The bill also proposes reducing number of jurors from 12 to 8 people.