Chairman of Supreme Court: Financing and Technical Support of Russia's Courts Improved over 2002

Speaking at the plenary session of the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation, Alexander Gusev, Chairman and General Director of the Judicial Department of Russia's Supreme Court , said that the financing and technical support of Russia's courts had improved over 2002. Judges' salaries increased by a factor of 1.7, nearly half of the automobile fleet of all courts has been renovated, 1,307 new vehicles purchased. Over 2002, courts received 4,878 new computers. Now two thirds of all Russia's judges have them.

Judge Gusev noted that, over 2002, USD 26.968 million had been spent on computers, nearly USD 1.7 million paid for judges' business trips and retraining, and USD 11.5 million worth of consumables had been purchased.

The financing of construction and building purchases increased 5-fold, reaching USD 35.3 million. Over 2002, 79 buildings were purchased for courts, that is, 40 buildings more than in 2001. However, Judge Gusev, admitted that about 750 judges still had no living housing and 230 lived in poor conditions.

Judge Gusev also said that the main problem remained improper spending and under-spending of money supplied from the country's budget. This year nearly over, 18.5% of the money remains unspent. This continuing, the financing of courts may be cut. Judge Gusev said that possibly USD 750 million would pay for courts' needs in 2003, the exact amounts to be known at a later time.

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