Judicial reform underway in Russia

The judicial reform currently underway in Russia aims to make society more humane, Viktor Ivanov, the deputy head of the president's administration said on Wednesday at the all-Russian session of the chairmen of amnesty commissions set in the constituent members of the Russian Federation.

He pointed to special conditions of the humanization, given the criminal situation is rather acute and many grave crimes are committed now. Regardless of the fact, he said, Russia continues granting pardon and parole.

Ivanov recalled that 5,000 women and 9,000 minors were pardoned in 2001. Last year the number of the criminals eligible for parole almost doubled to hit 131,500 against the year of 2000.

Ivanov reported that under the new Procedural-Criminal Code, that took effect this year, punishments alternative to imprisonment can be applied more widely.

"The penitentiary policy the government pursues provides for humane attitude towards criminals, less punishment and more educational measures," Ivanov said. He stressed that amnesty is "an unprecedented act of humanism" that must meet not only the principles of humanity but that of justice as well. Ivanov appeals to the chairmen of the commissions to be careful about this procedure and "not to compete."

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