On 27 June the International Trade Centre hosted a session of the Expert Panel with the Russian President's Ombudsman for Entrepreneurs' Rights. During this session its participants discussed an initiative of the Russian Supreme Court to introduce the institution of a "misdemeanour offence".
Taking part in the discussion were Boris Titov, the Ombudsman for Entrepreneurs' Rights, Andrey Nazarov, Co-Chairman of the non-governmental organisation Business Russia, Anatoly Kirin, advisor of the State Legal Directorate of the Russian Presidential Administration, PhD in Law, as well as representatives of business, attorneys and the expert community.
Resolution No. 42 of the Plenum of the Russian Supreme Court dated 31 October 2017 approved and submitted for consideration to the Russian State Duma a draft federal law On Amending the Russian Criminal Code and the Russian Criminal Procedure Code Owing to the Introduction of the Concept of Misdemeanour.
The draft law introduces to Russian criminal legislation a new concept of a misdemeanour offence which places more than 80 offences from the Special Part of the Russian Criminal Code into a category that is new for modern Russian law. It also establishes specific measures of liability and the procedure for imposing such liability as well as additional grounds for releasing offenders from criminal liability.
Currently the expert and the academic community is actively debating whether there is a need for the new institution to be introduced, whether this institution is in line with Russian law doctrine and how it may impact administrative and judicial practice with respect to criminal prosecution in the area of economic activity.
Experts expressed their concerns that the law, if adopted as currently worded, would highly likely entail the risk of consequences opposite to those that have been declared: instead of the humanisation of current criminal and criminal procedure legislation it may lead to the country’s economy becoming even more criminalised.
Sergey Taut, Expert at Pepeliaev Group, and Elena Ovcharova, Counsel, both participated in this event.