President Vladimir Putin: What is your impression and what evaluation do you make of your time spent so far getting to know the problems the Supreme Arbitration Court faces in its work?
Anton Ivanov: I am greatly impressed by the intellectual level of the court’s judges and by the way the court makes extensive use of all the achievements of legal science in its work. This is a definite merit of our arbitration system in general and of the Supreme Arbitration Court in particular.
Vladimir Putin: I understand that you find the division between general jurisdiction and arbitration courts perfectly justified.
Anton Ivanov: This is what follows from the constitution.
Vladimir Putin: But nonetheless, some specialists have different opinions?
Anton Ivanov: Different opinions exist. But I think that specialisation based on different areas of activity is justified. You cannot mix everything together – we need to have professionals working in each specific area of activity.
Vladimir Putin: How do you evaluate the burden on the courts? How fast is it growing and what state, what technical state, is the arbitration court system in today?
Anton Ivanov: There is a catastrophic situation with increased work for the courts: the burden rose by almost 40 percent last year and by 40 percent this year. In other words, the burden on the courts has doubled over the last three years but the number of judges remains the same, and so this all creates a difficult situation. As for how to improve this situation, we place great hopes on the draft law currently being examined by the government on administrative procedures for dispute resolution that would enable cases in which disputes are not involved to be settled without going through the courts. If this draft law gets the required support, this would considerably lighten the burden on the courts.
Vladimir Putin: There are some positive aspects to the increasing burden on the courts. It means that more and more people trust the court system and are turning to the courts to settle their disputes.
Anton Ivanov: I agree. I think we will all make every possible effort to ensure that cases are examined by independent, professional and quality courts.