The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is the supreme judicial body for civil, criminal, administrative and other cases under the jurisdiction of courts of general jurisdiction, carries out judicial supervision over their activities according to the federal law-envisaged procedural forms and provides clarifications on the issues of court proceedings (Article 126 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation). It heads the judicial system of general jurisdiction, representing a supreme tier of this system.
The Supreme Court of Russian Federation has the right of the legislative initiative. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation acts as a court of first instance for cases of special importance or special public interest when it accepts them for consideration according to the legislation. The law determines a category of cases which are included in the sphere of activities of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation as a court of first instance .
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is a cassation instance in relation to the federal courts of general jurisdiction of republics or oblast.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation supervises legality, validity and substantiality of sentences and other decisions of courts of lower level.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is composed of its Chairman, first deputy and deputies of the Chairman, the justices of the Court and People's assessors.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has the following structure
The Plenum of the Supreme Court
The Plenum of the Supreme Court on the basis of studies and generalisation of the judicial practice and judicial statistics, provides its guidance to courts on the issues of proper application of the legislation of the Russian Federation.
The Plenum hears reports on the activities of the Presidium of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, reports by the judicial chambers chairmen . It has the right to present the legislative body with presentations on issues subject to be resolved in the legislative order.
The Presidium of the Supreme Court.
Apart from consideration of cases by way of supervision and upon newly discovered evidences, the Presidium of the Supreme Court considers and hears issues relating to the organisation of activities of judicial chambers, examines materials of the studies and generalisation of judicial practice, analyses judicial statistics, assists lower courts in correct application of the legislation.
There are three chambers in the structure of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation: Judicial Chamber on Civil Cases; Judicial Chamber on Criminal Cases; and Military Chamber. Within the limits of their powers they consider cases as courts of first instances; in the order of cassation; by way of supervision and on newly discovered evidence, study and generalise judicial practice, analyse judicial statistics.
The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is assisted in exercising its powers by several offices, departments and other structural units.
At present the Supreme Court has initiated establishment of the all-Russian system of administrative justice . The appropriate draft of a federal law has already been presented to the State Duma.