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POLITICIANS ON JUDICIAL REFORM
MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council, last week made a proposal that the Supreme Qualification Commission of Judges and heads of the Court Department be appointed on the president's recommendation and approved by the Federation Council. What is the point of the judiciary being dependent on the executive branch? Nezavisimaya Gazeta asked Russian politicians to comment on the issue.
Lyubov Sliska, first deputy speaker of the Duma, said, "We cannot afford to throw another branch of power into disarray. This branch has to be reformed delicately and carefully. It might be a good idea to appoint head of the Court Department by presidential decree in order to hold him accountable for his work. However, judges' independence should be approached with more caution."
Irina Khakamada, co-chairwoman of the liberal committee 2008: Free Choice, commented, "The thing is that the president appoints all the ministers and [agency] heads too, but admits that corruption in the power structures has reached unprecedented levels. Therefore, the appointment principle has nothing to do with the drive against corruption."
Oleg Kulikov, secretary for ideology of the Communist Party's Central Committee, said, "This has nothing to do with the fight against corruption. It will only create a new source for it. The president will in no way know who he is appointing, as officials will be in charge of it, and officials are generally directly involved in bribe taking."
Valentina Petrenko, chairwoman of the Federation Council's committee for social policy, argued, "Today, plenty of serious violations are taking place in the judiciary. In the current circumstances, judges almost feel like God's messengers on Earth, and some do not understand their responsibility. Therefore, control over the personnel in this sphere should be increased. The system of appointments will help avoid corruption and other legal violations."