Representatives of Expert Council under High Commissioner discussed protection of human rights in criminal proceedings

13 November 2017

On November 13, a regular meeting of the Expert Council’s section on the issues of ensuring human rights and freedoms in criminal proceedings and places of detention was held under the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation.

Opening the meeting, Tatiana Moskalkova stressed the importance of the agenda. According to the High Commissioner, special attention should be paid to issues related to legislative initiatives in criminal proceedings.

"Today we are to discuss a number of important issues on improving the legislation of the Russian Federation. We receive a huge number of complaints from citizens who have been detained for a long time during the trial of criminal cases in the courts of first instance, which contradicts the first Section of Article 6 of the Convention of November 4, 1950. Especially important are your arguments, examples and foreign experience, so that we can support our position in the work on amending the legislation," Tatiana Moskalkova said.

In turn, the experts of the section noted that the problem of the length of detention is growing every day. In Russian criminal procedural legislation, the concept of justifying the choice of preventive measures in the form of detention is blurred and there are no time limits for detention during the trial.

Earlier, the representatives of the High Commissioner and the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building discussed the legislative fixing of the term of detention, taking into account its reasonableness and necessity, including at the trial stage, after which it is possible to conditionally release the defendant with the use of other preventive measures, stipulated by Article 98 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation.

The Committee of the Federation Council supported this High Commissioner’s initiative. When the relevant draft law is submitted to the Federation Council, work on it will be continued for subsequent submission to the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.

Adoption of the law on setting the limits of detention, as well as changing the grounds for choosing a preventive measure in terms of increasing the category of crimes, will help to deal with the over-crowding in pre-trial detention centers.

In addition, the participants of the meeting also discussed the initiative to introduce into the criminal and criminal procedural legislation of the Russian Federation the concept of «criminal offense», which will improve the criminal system and raise the level of humanism to a new level.

According to experts, it is advisable to transfer crimes of a small degree to the category of «criminal offenses», as well as make changes in terms of raising the category of crimes for which a preventive measure in the form of detention would be applied.

In conclusion, the members of the Expert Council outlined the priority areas for the work of the section and discussed the mechanisms for resolving the tasks set during the meeting.

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