Court system: overview.

The Russian judicial system consists of the Constitutional Court, the courts of the general jurisdiction, and the State arbitrazhny (commercial) courts. The Constitutional Court interprets the constitution and resolves issues related to the compliance of laws and regulations within the constitution. The courts of general jurisdiction hear criminal cases and resolve civil and administrative disputes. Disputes regarding business activity are heard before the State arbitrazhny courts.

The procedural rules applicable in the Russian courts are closer to the principles of procedural law adopted in continental Europe; the procedure is inquisitorial and not adversarial as in common law jurisdictions.

Legal proceedings start, generally, from filing a statement of claim or application with a relevant court. It is normally required to provide evidence that the state duty has been paid. The state duty depends on the category of the case and is normally determined as a percentage of the amount the claim. As a rule a statement must be filed with a court at the place of living or seat of a defendant.