Yuriy Korchuganov, Senior Advocate and Head of MGAP’s media practice comments on the recent abolishment of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation to the Russian Service of the BBC

The Supreme Commercial Court, which handled commercial disputes, has merged with the Supreme Court which resolves all other types of disputes. A “new” Supreme Court started work on Wednesday, 6 August 2014.

Apart from abolishing the Supreme Commercial Court, the system of commercial courts in Russian remains the same, though representatives of both business community and lower courts foresee a merging of commercial courts with regular courts in the future.

The reason for the merging of the two highest courts was justified by the Russian President Vladimir Putin as aiming to reduce inconsistencies in rulings between the highest courts. At the same time, most advocates and lawyers in Russia believe that the real reason for abolishing the Supreme Commercial Court, one of the most impartial Russian state bodies with comprehensive and transparent procedures, was to diminish the independence of сommercial courts in resolving economic disputes, especially when companies and entrepreneurs appeal against decisions by tax authorities and other official bodies.

The article of the Russian Service of the BBC (on Russian only) is available here.