MOSCOW, December 10 (RAPSI) - Russian lawyer Semyon Ariya, considered to have been the godfather of the Soviet and Russian legal practice, has been posthumously awarded the RAPSiUS Prize at the 2013 Russian National Legal Congress for his significant contribution to the development of legal literacy and knowledge among Russia's citizens.

Semyon Ariya died November 25 the age of 90 after battling a prolonged illness.

The RAPSiUS Awards is a professional prize granted for the distinguished service of Russian courts, law firms, state and non-governmental organizations, business entities, and individuals.

RIA Novosti and the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) teamed up on 10-11 December to host the National Legal Congress.

The Congress was first held in 2011, and has already gained recognition among professionals in the industry, attracting more hundreds of representatives of Russian courts, law firms, officials, NGOs, business community, and renowned law specialists.

Formerly known as the International Legal Conference (ILC), hosted by RAPSI and RIA Novosti, the event has been officially renamed this year to more aptly reflect the Congress' aims and objective: cutting edge current analysis of the Russian legal market, support of legal reforms, further promotion of legal culture in Russia, as well as the promotion of transparency in Russian judiciary system.

The 2013 National Legal Congress is held with the direct support of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Commercial Court and the Federal Chamber of Lawyers.

The RAPSIUS Awards ceremony is the part of this year's program. The award honors remarkable input and efforts to enhance legal culture in Russian society.