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Russian Federation: UN expert to conduct mission to assess the independence of the judiciary

GENEVA (12 April 2013) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Gabriela Knaul will carry out a visit to the Russian Federation from 15 to 25 April 2013, to assess the independence of judges, lawyers and prosecutors, as well as positive developments in and challenges to the proper functioning of the justice system.

“My visit will focus on both the achievements and shortcomings of the country in ensuring the independence of the judiciary and the free exercise of the legal profession,” Ms. Knaul said while announcing the second visit to the Russian Federation since 2008* by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and report on the independence of judge and lawyers.

“I will also concentrate on the three key-issues of the protection of the actors of the justice system, including judges, lawyers and prosecutors, the administration of justice, and access to justice,” stressed the expert, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government.

During her eleven-day visit, Ms. Knaul will meet with Government representatives, members of Parliament, judges and members of national judicial institutions, the Commissioner for Human Rights, prosecutors, lawyers, international and local non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Nizhny Novgorod.

Based on the information collected during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report to be presented to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

At the end of the visit on Thursday, 25 April, Ms. Knaul will hold a press conference in Moscow to present her preliminary observations. Further details will follow.

Gabriela Knaul took up her functions as UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on 1 August 2009. In that capacity, she acts independently from any Government or organization. Ms. Knaul has a long-standing experience as a judge in Brazil and is an expert in criminal justice and the administration of judicial systems.
Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Judiciary/Pages/IDPIndex.aspx

(*) See the report on Russia by the previous Special Rapporteur: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G09/126/50/PDF/G0912650.pdf?OpenElement

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Russian Federation: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/ENACARegion/Pages/RUIndex.aspx

Check the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/IndependenceJudiciary.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva (before the visit): Amanda Flores (+41 22 917 91 86 / aflores@ohchr.org) or write to srindependence@ohchr.org.
In Moscow (during the visit): Olga Salova (+7 985 227 73 86 / osalova@ohchr.org)

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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