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Russia: Court Rules Against Book Reviewers

(May 11, 2009) On April 23, 2009, a federal district court in the southern Russian province of Dagestan issued an unprecedented ruling, ordering a journalist of a local newspaper to pay compensation in an amount equal to US$1,000 to a writer who did not like a review of his book published in the newspaper. The […]

Russia: Losing Political Parties to Be Represented in Parliament

(May 6, 2009) On April 8, 2009, amendments to the Federal Law on Political Parties were passed in Russia. Proposed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, they are aimed, according to the accompanying explanatory statement, at strengthening citizens' influence on government authorities. The amendments establish that the so-called small parties, which at the next national parliamentary […]

Russia: New Procedures for Appointment of Governors

(May 6, 2009) On April 23, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law a series of amendments to federal laws that will affect the activities of political parties, the election of governors, and some issues of municipal self-government. The amendment on gubernatorial elections transfers the right to recommend individuals to be nominated as candidates […]

Russia: Government Guarantees for Air Travelers

(Apr. 21, 2009) On April 13, 2009, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a regulation approving new rules for providing government subsidies to air carriers. After this regulation enters into force on May 1, 2009, the government will be obliged to guarantee to each individual that any flight that the person was scheduled to take […]

Russia: No Criminal Liability for Medical Errors

(Apr. 2, 2009) On March 10, 2009, the State Duma (legislature) of the Russian Federation adopted amendments to article 124 of the country's Criminal Code, which establishes the punishment for refusal to provide assistance to a sick person. An amendment bill introduced by the leading pro-government party faction “United Russia” was almost unanimously passed in […]

Russia: Criminal Liability for Selling Alcohol to Minors

(Apr. 1, 2009) On March 3, 2009, a bill on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure was introduced in the State Duma (legislature) of the Russian Federation. The bill provides for the establishment of criminal responsibility for selling tobacco and alcohol products, including beer, to individuals under 18 years of […]

Russia: Groups of Police Volunteers May Be Established

(Apr. 1, 2009) In an interview given to the Russian government-owned daily newspaper ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA on March 10, 2009, the Minister of Internal Affairs (police) of the Russian Federation stated that his Ministry has drafted and introduced to the Russian legislature a bill on Citizens' Participation in Public Order Protection aimed at reinstating Soviet-style groups […]

Russia: Criminal Law and the Soviet Role in WWII

(Mar. 6, 2009) On February 24, 2009, the Vice-Chairman of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of the Russian legislature), while in Poland attending events commemorating the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, stated that Russia may join other Western countries whose laws establish criminal responsibility for […]

Russia: Constitutional Amendments Enter into Force

(Feb. 4, 2009) On January 21, 2009, the government-published daily newspaper ROSSIISKAIA GAZETA published the official text of recently adopted amendments to the Russian Constitution. These amendments provide for the extension of presidential terms from four to six years and of parliamentary terms from four to five years. The changes entered into force upon their […]

Russia: New Rules for University Admission

(Dec. 19, 2008) On December 3, 2008, the Russian Minister of Science and Education signed a government order on new university admission procedures, which will be applicable as of summer 2009. The order repeals the existing system of high school graduation and university admission tests and introduces new federal educational standards. According to the order, […]