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Chapter 7. Judicial Power

Article 118

1. Justice in the Russian Federation shall be administered by courts alone.

2. The judicial power shall be exercised by means of constitutional, civil, administrative and criminal proceedings.

3. The judicial system of the Russian Federation shall be instituted by the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the federal constitutional law. The creation of extraordinary courts shall not be allowed.

Article 119

Judges may be citizens of the Russian Federation over 25 years of age with a higher education in law and a law service record of not less than five years. The federal law may introduce additional requirements for judges of the courts of the Russian Federation.

Article 120

1. Judges shall be independent and submit only to the Constitution and the federal law.

2. If after considering a case, the court of law decides that an act of a state or other body contradicts the law, it shall pass an appropriate decision according to the law.

Article 121

1. Judges shall be irremovable.

2. The powers of a judge be ceased or suspended only on the grounds and according to the rules fixed by the federal law.

Article 122

1. Judges shall possess immunity.

2. A judge may not face criminal responsibility otherwise than according to the rules fixed by the federal law.

Article 123

1. Examination of cases in all courts shall be open. Examinations in camera shall be allowed only in cases envisaged by the federal law.

2. Trial by default in criminal courts shall not be allowed except in cases fixed by the federal law.

3. Judicial proceedings shall be held on the basis of controversy and equality of the parties.

4. In cases fixed by the federal law justice shall be administered by a court of jury.

Article 124

The courts shall be financed only from the federal budget and the possibility of the complete and independent administration of justice shall be ensured in keeping with the requirements of federal law.

Article 125

1. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation consists of 19 judges.

2. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation upon requests of the President of the Russian Federation, the Council of the Federation, the State Duma, one fifth of the members of the Council of the Federation or of the deputies of the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, the bodies of legislative and executive power of the subjects of the Russian Federation shall consider cases on the correspondence to the Constitution of the Russian Federation of:

  1. the federal laws, normative acts of the President of the Russian Federation, the Council of the Federation, the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation;
  2. the constitutions of republics, charters, and also the laws and other normative acts of the subjects of the Russian Federation adopted on the issues under the jurisdiction of the bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation or under the joint jurisdiction of the bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation and the bodies of state authority of the subjects of the Russian Federation;
  3. the treaties concluded between the bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation and the bodies of state authority of the subjects of the Russian Federation, the treaties concluded between the bodies of state authority of the subjects of the Russian Federation;
  4. international treaties and agreements of the Russian Federation which have not come into force.

3. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation shall resolve disputes on jurisdiction matters:

  1. between the federal bodies of state authority;
  2. between the bodies of state authority of the Russian Federation and the bodies of state authority of the subjects of the Russian Federation;
  3. between the higher bodies of state authority of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

4. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, upon complaints about violations of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens and upon court requests shall check, according to the rules fixed by the federal law, the constitutional of a law applied or subject to be applied in a concrete case.

5. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, upon the requests of the President of the Russian Federation, the Council of the Federation, the State Duma, the Government of the Russian Federation, the bodies of the legislative power of the subjects of the Russian Federation, shall give its interpretation of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

6. Acts or their certain provisions recognized as unconstitutional shall become invalid; international treaties and agreements not corresponding to the Constitution of the Russian Federation shall not be liable for enforcement and application.

7. The Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, upon the request of the Council of the Federation, shall provide a conclusion on the observance of the fixed procedure for advancing charges of treason or of another grave crime against the President of the Russian Federation.

Article 126

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation shall be the supreme judicial body for civil, criminal, administrative and other cases under the jurisdiction of common courts, shall carry out judicial supervision over their activities according to federal law-envisaged procedural forms and provide explanations on the issues of court proceedings.

Article 127

The Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation shall be the supreme judicial body for settling economic disputes and other cases examined by courts of arbitration, shall carry out judicial supervision over their activities according to federal law-envisaged procedural forms and provide explanations on the issues of court proceedings.

Article 128

1. The judges of the Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation shall be appointed by the Council of the Federation upon the proposals by the President of the Russian Federation.

2. Judges of other federal courts shall be appointed by the President of the Russian Federation according to the rules fixed by the federal law.

3. The powers, the rules for forming and functioning of the Constitution Court of the Russian Federation, of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation shall be fixed by the federal constitutional law.

Article 129

1. The Procurator's Office of the Russian Federation shall form single centralized structure in which procurators are subordinate to superior procurators and the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation.

2. The Procurator-General of the Russian Federation shall be appointed and dismissed by the Council of the Federation upon the proposal of the President of the Russian Federation.

3. The procurators of the subjects of the Russian Federation shall be appointed by the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation by agreement with the subjects.

4. Other procurators shall be appointed by the Procurator-General of the Russian Federation.

5. The powers, organization and the rules of the functioning of the Procurator's Office of the Russian Federation shall be determined by the federal law.

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