Russian MPs pass bill on procedure of instituting cases against judges
MOSCOW, June 25 (RAPSI) – The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, adopted a bill changing a procedure of opening criminal cases against judges in the third and final reading on Tuesday.
The bill proposes to relieve regional qualification boards of judges of duties to approve institution of criminal cases against district, city, interdistrict and magistrate judges. Under the draft law, these powers would be transferred to the Higher Judges' Qualifications Board.
Currently, criminal cases may be launched against these judges with the sanctions of regional qualification boards. Their decisions may be appealed in the Higher Judges' Qualifications Board. If the Investigative Committee or a judge disagree with the decisions of both boards, they have a right to appeal them in courts.
According to the Supreme Court, the bill’s sponsor, the baseline conditions lead to the investigation foot dragging and create a threat of independence principle contravention.
The proposed bill also includes suggestions on granting the Higher Judges' Qualifications Board a right to change a punishment imposed on a judge if it considers that the disciplinary penalty is disproportionate to the gravity of the harm occurred.
The draft law was submitted to the State Duma by the Supreme Court of Russia in December 2018.