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The Supreme Commercial (Arbitrazh) Court of Russia thinking about a jury trial


Lately, in the legal media, the idea of introduction of a jury trial in the commercial cases has been discussed. This idea is supported, in particular, by Anton Ivanov, Chairman of the Supreme Commercial (Arbitrazh) Court of the Russian Federation.

The draft-law on this subject does not exist yet. Also there is no concept when this institution will be introduce. In general, this idea [a jury trial in the civil cases] is not new both for foreign countries and Russia. It is common knowledge, the main impact on the development of the domestic judicial system has rendered the Concept of judicial reform adopted on 24 October 1991. According these concept, the civil case may be resolved by the jury if there is no consent of the plaintiff and the defendant on the sole consideration of the case.

For objective reasons, in Russia, most of the researchers about the jury trial falls on criminal justice. I think, in Russia, the special demand on the jury in civil cases is does not exist. Statistics indicate that, for example, both the U.S. and the UK no more than 3% of civil cases are considered involving a jury.

This circumstance does not show that the jury in commercial cases is not needed in Russia. In contrast, consideration of the most “painful” trials by the jury will enhance the level of trust of businesses to the domestic system to resolve commercial disputes.

In conclusion, I have no doubt, that if this institution is introduced it will entail a lot of questions – organizational, legal, material, etc., however, the jury in commercial cases will only contribute to the development of the judicial system of the Russian Federation.