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The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Russian: Верховный Суд Российской Федерации) is the court of last resort in Russian administrative law, civil law and criminal law cases. It also supervises the work of lower courts.



Judges of the Supreme Court are nominated by the President of Russia and appointed by the Federation Council. In order to become a judge a person must be citizen of Russia, attain the age of 35, have legal education and 10-years length of service.

The Supreme Court consists of Civil cases Board, Criminal cases Board and Martial Board, which deal with respective cases. Those cases in which the Supreme Court has the original jurisdiction are heard in Board. Appeals on the decisions of the Boards are brought in the Cassation Board. Whereas a Board reviews decisions of lower courts, appeal is brought to the Presidium of the Supreme Court.

At least once in four months plenary sessions of the Supreme Court are held. Plenary session must be attended by all judges of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General of Russia. On plenary sessions the Supreme Court studies judicial decisions of lower courts on various topics and adopts resolutions, which establish recommendations on interpretation of particular provisions of law for lower courts for uniform application. Russian law does not recognize judicial precedent as a source of law, but courts strictly follow such recommendations. Otherwise decision contrary to recommendations of the Supreme Court will be reversed.

Academic consultative Council attached to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Научно-консультативный совет при Верховном Суде Российской Федерации) is a body created in order to assist the Supreme Court in various legal and academic matters. It comprises members of the Supreme Court itself, academics and practising lawyers and law enforcement officers. The members of the Academic consultative Council are elected on plenary sessions of the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has original jurisdiction in certain cases. Those include: challenging of individual acts of the Federal Assembly and decrees of the President of Russia and the Government of Russia; challenging of delegated legislation of governmental agencies; termination of political parties and all-Russian NGOs; challenging of actions of Central Electoral Commission of Russia when organizing presidential elections, State Duma elections or referendum. The Supreme Court may also hear criminal cases against members of the Federation Council of Russia and the State Duma and federal judges by their discretion.

The Supreme Court is also the court of last resort for cases heard in lower courts since it reviews decisions of lower courts. When petition requesting reverse of a decision of a Supreme Court of federal subject comes to the Supreme Court it is observed by one of the judges of the Supreme Court. He may either submit it to respective Board or decline to do it if he finds decision of a lower court "lawful and well-grounded" (common legal expression in Russian courts). The Supreme Court may either affirm or reverse the decision of a lower court. If it is reversed the Supreme Court either renders its own resolution or provides that the case is to be reheard in lower courts.

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