State Duma passes bill expanding jury trial in Russia
MOSCOW, June 7 (RAPSI) – The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, adopted in the third and final reading on Tuesday a presidential bill that would expand practice of jury trials, RIA Novosti reported.
During All-Russian conference of judges in February, President Vladimir Putin said that the current system of creating jury panels is far from perfect and ineffective; field of jurors’ work should be extended.
The legislation 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 to the bill.
Under the draft law, 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.
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 would also reduce the number of jurors in regional and military district courts from 12 to 8 people.
The legislation is expected to become effective on June 1, 2018.