President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Active preparations are underway on the national anti-corruption programme and the accompanying package of laws. Work is underway in the Presidential Executive Office and the Government. I hope the Federation Council will also get involved in this lawmaking work during the drafting phase and during the laws’ passage through the Federal Assembly.
Let us therefore meet again and discuss how to improve legislation, both at federal and regional level, all the more so as we now need to enact in our national legislation a series of international anti-corruption agreements.
Chairman of The Federation Council Sergei Mironov: Allow me to present the Federation Council’s latest report on the state of Russian legislation in 2007.
The report’s main aim was to analyse federal and regional laws in terms of providing the legal basis of the completeness and quality needed to be able to implement the state policy set out in the annual Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly.
The report also contains for the first time a thorough analysis of the courts’ enforcement of laws based on decisions and special rulings of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Arbitration Court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.
I also want to inform you that we are now producing a version of the report in English.
Dmitry Medvedev: An English summary of the report?
Sergei Mironov: Yes, we had the 2006 report translated.
We are also preparing an adapted version of the report. As a lawyer, you realise that this is a serious document and that not everyone will find it easy to understand. The adapted version will be around only a quarter of the size of the original, but any one in Russia will be able to read it (we will put it on the Internet) and understand what is going on and what issues we face in the legal provisions for state policy.
By the way, 16 regions are already preparing their reports on the state of regional laws. The process is going ahead with great success, in my view. This year, the Federation Council has set up a new body within its organisational framework, the Centre for Monitoring Legislation and Enforcement.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is an interesting report. I hope you will continue this practice. I think it is important that the regions and the bodies responsible for enforcing the laws also discuss this report. It represents actual experience, after all. Our legal system is based on legislation, and this is probably one of its advantages, but some of the actual experience takes the nature of precedent and can be used in law enforcement practice and in the examination of cases in the courts.
Sergei Mironov: We already have an established practice of sorts of discussing this report. On June 26, we will hold the sixth national conference at which public discussions of the report will take place. As you very rightly noted, similar conferences will also take place in the regions.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good.
Sergei Mironov: I would like to invite you to the next meeting of the Council of Lawmakers at the beginning of July. It plans to address anti-corruption issues.
The regional lawmakers have some very interesting ideas and there is also regional experience in this area. Some regional legislators are not waiting for federal anti-corruption laws to be drafted but are already passing their own regional laws.
Dmitry Medvedev: All the same, it would be best for the regions to pass laws in accordance with federal legislation. Criminal law and criminal law enforcement is a federal prerogative, after all. But I have no doubt that there are some interesting proposals and so, if you extending the invitation I will most certainly attend.