The Supreme Arbitration (Commercial) Court of the Russian Federation is the body of state authority that heads one of the branches of the judicial power in the country.
Under Article 127 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation is the supreme judicial body competent to settle economic disputes and other cases examined by arbitration courts, to exercise judicial supervision over their activity and to provide explanations of court proceedings. The Supreme Arbitration Court is part of the country's uniform judicial system as well as the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.
The arbitration courts are specialized courts for settling property and commercial disputes between enterprises. They as well consider claims of businessmen to proclaim acts of state bodies which infringe their rights and violate their lawful interests null an void. These are tax, land and other disputes arising from administrative, financial and other legal relations. The arbitration courts consider cases with foreign parties participation.
At present, the activity of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation is regulated by the Federal constitutional law 'On the arbitration courts in the Russian Federation' and the Arbitration procedural code of the Russian Federation, both of which were promulgated on April 5, 1995, as well as the Federal constitutional law 'On the judicial system of the Russian Federation' dated 23 October 1996.
The Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation operates through its constituent parts:
the Plenum of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation,
the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, the College of Judges empowered to consider disputes arising from civil and other legal relations; the College of judges empowered to consider disputes arising from administrative legal relations; judicial panels.
The Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation acts as court of first instance where specific categories of cases are concerned, including the claims of invalidity of non-normative acts endorsed by the President of the Russian Federation, the Federation Council and the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, as well as economic disputes between the Russian Federation and its constituent parts or between constituent parts of the Russian Federation.
The most important task is to insure the uniform understanding and implementation of the legislation in the sphere of economic relations by all arbitration courts. The fulfilment of this task is exercised by means of studying and generalizing of the judicial practice and working out of explanations and interpretation of the legal acts by the Plenum or by the Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation.
The Plenum of the Supreme Arbitration Court is made up of the Chairman, deputy Chairman and the judges of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation. Representatives of other branches of the judicial branch of power, the legislative and executive branches of power, scientific institutions and rank-and-file citizens may take part in meetings of the Plenum. It is empowered to decide on legislative initiative, on appeals to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation to rule on the constitutionality of laws, normative legal acts and agreements, it also endorses the rules of procedure of arbitration courts.
The Colleges of Judges of the Supreme Arbitration Court hear cases in first instance, study and generalize judicial practice, work out proposals for perfecting laws and normative legal acts, as well as exercise other powers in keeping with the rules of procedure.
Law entrusts the Supreme Arbitration Court with the provision of organizational support of the activity of the arbitration courts, the selection and training of would-be judges, the organization of advanced training and upgrading of skills and qualification of judges and personnel of arbitration courts, the financing of arbitration courts.
The Council of Chairmen of arbitration courts operates within the framework of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation as a consultative body which considers questions relating to its organizational, personnel and financial activity. A Scientific-advisory Council is formed under the Supreme Arbitration Court to prepare theoretically-substantiated recommendations on matters relating to the formulation of judicial practice and other normative acts and to work out proposals for their improvement. The Council is made up of sections dealing with procedural legislation, administrative law, civil law, and international private law.
For the purpose of ensuring full and independent administration of justice in compliance with federal laws, the financing of the system of arbitration courts is provided from the resources of the federal budget. A separate line in the federal budget provides for the spending on the maintenance of the arbitration courts.
The monthly "Vestnik Vysshego Arbitrazhnogo Suda Rossijskoi Federatsii" (The Herald of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation) is the official edition of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation.