RIA Novosti: Two Russian Courts Denounce Kremlin’s Legal Reform Plan

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) ­ Two top Russian courts have criticized a proposed reform of the legal system spearheaded by the Kremlin, arguing that some of the provisions are unconstitutional, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

The Supreme Court and the Supreme Arbitration Court are under an imminent reform set to be merged into a single body, a move that has drawn criticism from both courts.

According to a report in Kommersant daily, experts at the courts said the specific functions of the new entity coming into being were unclear.

The incoming reform will require judges to re-qualify to ensure selection for the revised court.

Kommersant cites the review by the Supreme Arbitration Court, which oversees business disputes, as saying that the provision goes against the principle on the irremovability of judges.

In October, a number of judges from the Supreme Arbitration Court submitted their resignation in anticipation of the merger.

Last month, dozens of law firms issued a petition against the reform and called for its delay until it could be discussed in more detail by legal experts.