Russia to get 3,000 new judges by 2003

The corps of Russian judges will grow by 3,000 by the year 2003, Dmitry Kozak, deputy head of the presidential administration, said on Tuesday at a plenary session of the Council of Judges of Russia. In his words, the growth of the corps is connected with the transfer of the issues of detainment, search and arrest from the jurisdiction of prosecutor offices to courts. The Kremlin spokesman stressed that the president will soon forward to the State Duma (Lower House) corresponding amendments to the codes of criminal and civil procedures of Russia. The idea is to gear procedural laws to the federal constitution. Kozak also said that "the role of courts in criminal hearings, as well as the role and place of prosecutors, will change considerably." According to him, prosecutors will act as state's attorney in criminal cases and as the advocate of state and municipal interests in civil cases. Dmitry Kozak also reported that the laws "on the Status of Judges" and "On the Constitutional Court" are well nigh ready for adoption and the president would soon submit them for the consideration of the parliament. The new law on the status of judges stipulates the age limit of 65-70 years and the term of service of 5-10 years. These limitations will be introduced within three years of their approval. In addition, the judges' term of service will be calculated as of the enforcement of the law. This is done "to preclude instant beheading of courts," said the deputy head of the presidential administration.

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