Addressing the delegates to the Congress, Mr Medvedev said that public confidence in the court system needs to be higher. The President made a number of proposals on improving judges’ professional level and effectiveness, making information on the courts’ work more open to the public, providing legal aid, and ensuring enforcement of court decisions.
Mr Medvedev said he expected the Congress to come up with recommendations and proposals for improving the laws. Problems that need to be resolved include bringing down the number of people sentenced to prison terms, wide use of alternative types of sentence, a possible transition to a system of appointing judges without any fixed term, issues of judges’ pay and career growth, and protecting the courts from various kinds of pressure. The President said he is ready to introduce laws based on the Congress’ proposals.
Regarding the problem of the number of Russian citizens turning to the international courts, Mr Medvedev said that the international courts cannot replace Russia’s own justice system. Russia’s courts should be absolutely independent and sufficiently effective in their work to reduce to a minimum the number of people turning to the international courts, the President said.