MOSCOW, June 18 (RAPSI) - The Federation Council approved several bills on reforming the judicial system of Crimea. The reforms are based on Russia’s existing system, including the process for selecting judges and establishing judicial system bodies.

The Russian judicial system comprises civil and military courts of general jurisdiction as well as arbitration and commercial courts to hear commercially related disputes. The federal courts of general jurisdiction include three levels (district, regional courts and the Supreme Court of Russia) while the arbitration system has four levels (regional courts, courts of appeal, courts of cassation and the Supreme Court of Russia). Also, the existing magistrate courts hear numerous smaller cases. Crimea and Sevastopol joined Russia in mid-March.

As a result of the reform, the government will establish the Supreme Court of the Republic, 24 district and city courts and the Crimean Presidial Military Tribunal in Crimea. In Sevastopol, a city court, four district courts and the Sevastopol Presidial Military Tribunal will be established.

Additionally, the newly incorporated regions will have a commercial court. Appeals will be heard by the 21st Commercial Court of Appeals. Cassation appeals will be heard by the Commercial Court of the North Caucasus District in Krasnodar.

District and city courts will hear cases subject to consideration by the magistrate courts before they are established in the region.

The Supreme Assessment Board of Russian Judges will select candidates for federal judges in Crimea and Sevastopol on a competition basis. Judges already based in Crimea and holding Russian citizenship will have an advantage.