MOSCOW, December 10 - RAPSI. Lawyers in Russia are not yet ready to cooperate with commercial courts via e-communication, Supreme Commercial Court Board Deputy Chairman Artur Absalyamov said while speaking at the Second International Legal Congress "Dialogues on the Future," organized by RIA Novosti and the Russian Legal Information Agency on Monday.

The updated twenty-ninth chapter of the Arbitration Code of Practice on simplified proceedings has been in effect for roughly 11 weeks. Communication with courts through e-communication devices has been permitted under simplified proceedings.

"Of several dozen thousand documents, only a small percentage was submitted through the 'My Arbitrator' system," he said. "No one is prepared to communicate electronically even though the simplified procedure provides for communication in an electronic form."

Video conferences are also not used in full, he said, although several-dozen thousand cases have been considered using video conferences.
Absalyamov also added that only Supreme Commercial Court hearings are broadcast.

"We are ready to broadcast all commercial court hearings online, but are the parties [to the case] ready for this?" he asked.

President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law on June 26, which expanded the list of lawsuits that qualify for review under simplified procedure.
The new law increases the claim amount that qualifies a case for a summary trial by up to 50 times.

Prior to the adoption of the new law, the procedure could be applied to cases in three categories - disputes over services payment arrears, disputes where the defendant accepts but fails to meet the plaintiff's claims, and lawsuits against legal entities amounting to 20,000 rubles ($600) and against individual entrepreneurs amounting to 2,000 rubles ($60).

The new law increases the claim amount to 300,000 rubles ($9,000) for legal entities and up to 100,000 rubles ($3,000) for individual entrepreneurs, which can then be reviewed in a summary trial.

The law also stipulates an expedited procedure for administrative cases with a claim amount below 100,000 rubles ($3,000).

However, the law does not apply to corporate disputes or rights protection for groups of persons.

The expedited proceedings envisage filing an appeal within 10 days of a ruling. An appeals court judge will be the only one to consider the case. Earlier, appeals were reviewed by a three-judge panel.

According to the new law, cases subject to the simplified procedure will be considered in the parties' absence as before. Meanwhile, the parties will be able to review the arguments, remarks and objections of their opponents via the Internet, but access to case documents will be limited.

The bill was developed by the Supreme Commercial Court and introduced on April 12, 2011.