MOSCOW, June 23 (RAPSI) – Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on Thursday a bill that would expand practice of jury trials into law, according to the document published on the official website of the judicial information.

“Criminal cases are to be either supervised by a single judge or a board consisting of three judges, or the jury trial. Criminal cases that are reviewed in military garrison courts outside Russia are to be supervised either by a single judge or by a board of three judges,” the document reads.

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.

Under the 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 number of jurors in regional and military district courts would be reduced from 12 to 8 people.

The legislation is expected to become effective on June 1, 2018.