MOSCOW, September 30 (RAPSI) - President of Russia’s Federal Chamber of Lawyers Yury Pilipenko has welcomed a bill on criminal punishment for obstruction of practice of law, the organization’s press service reports.

Pilipenko has stated his view on viability of the initiative’s support in general drawing attention to the need of adjusting certain position, in particular a standard of essential damage invalidating the value of the provision.

In early September, the bill to impose criminal liability for obstructing legal profession was published on the website of draft laws and regulations for public discussion. Amendments are proposed to Russia’s Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.

According to the initiative, criminal responsibility is fixed for any interference with legal activities of attorneys with an aim to prevent exercise of their professional powers as provided by the Federal law "On Legal Practice and Advocacy in the Russian Federation" if such intervention resulted in serious prejudicing rights and legal interests of citizens, organizations, society or state, according to the Chamber.

The draft law in particular envisages punishment of up to community service for a term of up to 1 year. A more serious crime with the use of force may lead to imprisonment for up to 5 years.