Russia - Project and Programs

Canada-Russian Judicial Partnership Program - Phase II (CRJPP)

Duration: 3 years, approved in June 2005

Phase II of the Canada-Russia Judicial Partnership Project (CRJPP) was approved in June 2005 and has a budget of $2.4 million.

The goal of the project is to continue strengthening the ongoing judicial reform in Russia and enhance the Russian judiciary's practical understanding and application of the principles of the rule of law, constitutionalism, judicial independence and impartiality. The project also aims to further strengthen the efficiency and the effectiveness of court practices of both the courts of general jurisdiction and the commercial courts dealing with tax disputes.

Project activities focus on several main areas: Administration and Case Flow Management; Specialization of courts and judicial discretionary Powers; Courts Transparency and Court Relations with the Public, including increased awareness and appreciation of the work of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; facilitation of judicial linkages between the High Courts of Russia and Canada.

Activities include the development of a curriculum on court administration for judges and courts staff; training the trainers to deliver the new curricula; training of court staff in media/public relations, continued web-site development at the Model Courts; and provision of court decisions on-line to the public. The project also works closely with the Constitutional Court on strengthening the functionality of its media relations branch, developing information brochures on the role of the Court, publishing a manual for court reporters as well as a manual for citizens on how to register complaints with the Court. Several Round Table Meetings have also been held with the participation of the three High Courts of Russia and the Canadian judiciary, including the Supreme Court of Canada, on issues of federalism most relevant to both countries (e.g. settling disputes among various levels of government, social justice and security in a federal state, etc.)

Canada-Russian Judicial Partnership Program - Phase I

Duration: 5 years, completed in 2005

Canada-Russia Judicial Partnership Program (CRJPP), funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), began in December 1999 with a budget of $3.4 million. Initially the Program was planned for four-years (to be completed in 2004), but was then extended for an additional year in order to complete the commenced activities and implement a number of additional measures.

The Program's three main components were:

  1. Supreme Court component - strengthening administrative capacity of courts of general jurisdiction;
  2. Constitutional Court Component - Federalism
  3. Supreme Arbitration Court Component - Resolution of Tax Disputes

The Project contributed significantly to Constitutional Court justices' increased awareness, capacity and confidence when dealing with the issues of federalism, human rights and constitutional protections. It also helped achieve an unprecedented level of bi-lateral cooperation between Canada's and Russia's highest courts. The CRJPP also resulted in more effective court procedures, management in courts of general jurisdiction and commercial courts, and an improved allocation of authority and duties between judges and courtroom staff, thus strengthening the concept of ‘judicial independence”.