Court upholds Russia’s switch to year-round summer time

Analog Clock Artist's Rendition

(Interfax – MOSCOW. March 26, 2013) The Supreme Court has found Russia’s switch to year-round summer time, in compliance with the government resolution of August 31, 2011, lawful and it rejected public organizations’ demand for scrapping the year-round summer time pattern, an Interfax correspondent reported.

An inquiry was filed with the Supreme Court by the leaders of the League for the Defense of Patients and of the Evidentiary Medicine Society Yan and Vasily Vlasov, and Alexander Saversky, challenging the August 31 resolution which lists territories in each time zone, and defines the rules of the computation of time in these zones.

The claimants demanded cancelling the resolution which sets Moscow time at (Coordinated Universal Time) UTC (SU) plus four hours.

Saversky argued in court that the challenged resolution does not comply with Russian and international law and infringes on citizens’ lives, health and recreation.

After the resolution was passed, the daytime declined one hour and forty minutes from the zone time for the Moscow region. People hurry to reach their work places by 7 a.m., when they would previously need to arrive by 9 a.m. Schoolchildren, whose classes begin at 8:30 a.m., actually study 90 minutes in the evening. We think that the switch to the summer time was an experiment on humans. No one has ever lived by this time pattern,” he said.

A representative of the Industry and Trade Ministry asked the court to turn down the complaint.

“The resolution had been drawn up with various opinions taken into account. No negative effects of the switch to the year-round summer time have been uncovered,” she said.

The prosecutor asked the court to turn down the plea, as well.

Claims that the government resolution was drawn up with violations of the established procedures have not been confirmed, she said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the Federal Law on the Computation of Time, which cancels the daylight savings time, on June 9, 2011.

The law sets the rules for calculating the calendar date and time and introduces the notion of ‘a time zone’, a segment of the national territory with unified time. Moscow time is the base for setting time in other Russian time zones.

The so-called ‘decree time’ was introduced in the Soviet Union in 1930. It made Russia one hour ahead of the time zone. Daylight savings was introduced in 1981. It made Russia another hour ahead of the time zone. So, the difference with the time zone was one hour in winter and two hours in summer.