Print   

FEDERAL LAW NO. 262-FZ OF DECEMBER 22, 2008
ON THE PROVISION OF ACCESS TO INFORMATION ON THE ACTIVITIES OF COURTS IN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION


(with the Amendments and Additions of June 28, 2010)

Adopted by the State Duma December 10, 2008
Approved by the Federation Council December 17, 2008

Chapter 1. General Provisions

Article 1. The Basic Terms Used in the Present Federal Law
The following basic terms are used for the purposes of the present Federal Law:
1) "inquiry" meaning the application of an information user, either orally or written, for instance in the form of an electronic document, to courts, the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as "the Judicial Department"), the directorates (sections) of the Judicial Department in subjects of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as "bodies of the Judicial Department") and bodies of the judicial community asking for provision of information on the activities of courts in the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as "information on courts' activities");
2) "information on courts' activities" meaning information prepared, within the scope of their powers, by courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community or received by courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community and concerning the activities of courts. The legislation of the Russian Federation establishing trial procedures, the powers and procedures for the operation of courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community, judgements on specific cases and other acts regulating issues of courts' operation are also deemed information on courts' activities;
3) "information user" meaning a citizen (natural person), organisation (legal entity), public association, governmental body or local self-government body that is searching for information on courts' activities;
4) "court's judgement" meaning a decision taken in the form established by a relevant law on the merits of a case heard in constitutional, civil, administrative or criminal judicial proceedings or arbitration court proceedings. Also the term "court's judgement" encompasses decisions of appellate, cassation and supervision courts issued in the form established by a relevant law according to the results of consideration of appellate or cassation complaints (representations) or review of courts' decisions in line of supervision;
5) "courts" meaning the federal courts, constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and the justices of the peace of the subjects of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as "justices of the peace") that constitute the judiciary system of the Russian Federation.

Article 2. The Applicability of the Present Federal Law
1. The present Federal Law extends to relationships relating to the provision of access for information users to information on courts' activities.
2. If the legislation of the Russian Federation establishing judicial proceedings, the powers of, and the procedure for operation of, courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department, bodies of the judicial community or the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation establishing the powers and procedure for the operation of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and of justices of the peace envisage requirements governing the provision of information on courts' activities other than those defined by the present Federal Law the provisions of the present Federal Law shall be applicable with due regard to the requirements set out in the legislation of the Russian Federation, and also in respect of information on the activities of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and of justices of the peace are concerned, the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation.
3. The present Federal Law extends to relationships relating to the provision of information on courts' activities to the editorial boards of mass media, in as much as it concerns areas not regulated by the legislation of the Russian Federation on mass media.
4. The present Federal Law does not extend to:
1) constitutional, civil, administrative or criminal proceedings, arbitration court proceedings or the proceedings taking place in judge qualification colleges;
2) the procedure for execution of courts' judgements;
3) relationships that have to do with the provision of access to personal data processed by courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community;
4) the procedure for the information interaction carried out by courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community.

Article 3. The Legal Regulation of Relationships Relating to the Provision of Access to Information on Courts' Activities
1. The legal regulation of relationships relating to the provision of access to information on courts' activities shall be carried out in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal constitutional laws, federal laws establishing judicial proceedings, the powers of, and the procedure for operation of, courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community by the present Federal Law, other federal laws, and also in respect of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and of justices of the peace, by the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The legal regulation of relationships relating to the provision of access to information on courts' activities shall also be carried out by the standing orders of courts and/or other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation, acts of the Judicial Department and acts of bodies of the judicial community.
2. If an international treaty of the Russian Federation establishes rules other than those envisaged by the present Federal Law the rules of the international treaty shall be applicable.

Article 4. The Basic Principles of Provision of Access to Information on Courts' Activities
Below are the basic principles of provision of access to information on courts' activities:
1) the transparency and accessibility of information on courts' activities, except for the cases described by the legislation of the Russian Federation;
2) the reliability of information on courts' activities and the proper timing of provision thereof;
3) the freedom for searching, receiving and distributing information on courts' activities by any legal means;
4) the observance of citizens' rights to privacy, personal and family secrets, protection of their honour and business reputation, the rights of organisations to protection of their business reputation; the observance of the rights and lawful interests of participants in a lawsuit when information is being provided on courts' activities;
5) non-interference in the administration of justice when information is being provided on courts' activities.

Article 5. Restricted-Access Information on Courts' Activities
1. Access to information on courts' activities is restricted if said information has been classified in the procedure established by a federal law as state secret or another law-protected secret.
2. A list of the information deemed restricted-access information and also the procedure for classifying said information as restricted-access information shall be established by a federal law.

Article 6. The Methods Whereby Access to Information on Courts' Activities Is Provided
The following methods shall be used to provide access to information on courts' activities:
1) the attendance of citizens (natural persons), for instance representatives of organisations (legal entities), public associations, governmental bodies and local self-government bodies in a public court hearing;
2) the promulgation (publication) of information on courts' activities in the mass media;
3) the placement of information on courts' activities in the information and telecommunication network internet (hereinafter referred to as "the Internet");
4) the placement of information on courts' activities on premises occupied by courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community;
5) the familiarisation of information users with the information on courts' activities available in archives;
6) the provision of information on courts' activities to information users.

Article 7. The Form of Provision of Information on Courts' Activities
1. Information on courts' activities may be provided in oral form and in the form of documented information, for instance as an electronic document.
2. The form of provision of information on courts' activities is envisaged by the legislation of the Russian Federation that establishes judicial proceedings, the powers of, and the procedure for operation of, courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department, the bodies of the judicial community, the present Federal Law, other federal laws, and also in respect of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation, and by the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The form of provision of said information may be envisaged by the standing orders of courts and/or by other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation, acts of the Judicial Department and acts of bodies of the judicial community. If no provision has been made for the form of provision of information on courts' activities it may be defined by an inquiry of an information user. If said information cannot be provided in the form the requested information shall be provided in the form as it is available in the court, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community.
3. Information on courts' activities in oral form shall be provided to citizens (natural persons), for instance representatives of organisations (of legal entities), public associations, governmental bodies and local self-government bodies during a meeting. Also said information shall be provided over the telephone at the telephone numbers of relevant structural units of the staffs of courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department, the staffs of bodies of the judicial community (if any) or the telephone numbers of empowered officials.
4. Information on courts' activities may be transmitted via public telecommunication networks.

Article 8. The Rights of Information Users
An information user is entitled to:
1) obtain reliable information on courts' activities;
2) abstain from substantiating his need for the requested non-restricted access information on courts' activities;
3) take appeal in the law-established procedure from the actions (omissions) of officials that violate the right to have access to information on courts' activities and the established procedure for exercising such right;
4) demand in the law-established procedure a compensation for a harm inflicted by the breach of his right to have access to information on courts' activities.

Chapter 2. Organising Access to Information on Courts' Activities and the Basic Requirements Applicable when Access to Such Information is Provided

Article 9. Organising Access to Information on Courts' Activities
1. Access to information on courts' activities shall be provided within the scope of their powers by courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community. In the cases envisaged by the present Federal Law and other federal laws access to the information on courts' activities available in bodies of the judicial community shall be ensured by the Judicial Department and bodies of the Judicial Department.
2. For the purpose of organising access to information on courts' activities courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community shall designate relevant structural units of their staffs or empowered officials. The rights and duties of said units and officials shall be established by the standing orders of courts and/or other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation, acts of the Judicial Department and acts of bodies of the judicial community respectively.
3. The organisation of access to information on courts' activities shall be carried out with due regard to the provisions of the present Federal Law in the procedure established within the scope of their powers by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the judicial community, and in respect of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation, by subjects of the Russian Federation.

Article 10. Organising Access to the Information on Courts' Activities Available on the Internet
1. For the purpose of placing information on courts' activities courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department shall use the Internet where they shall set up their official websites with an indication of the e-mail addresses that can be used to send enquiries. If a general jurisdiction court (a district court, a garrison military court, a justice of the peace) does not have an official website and cannot place information on the activities thereof on the Internet, said information may be placed on the official website of a body of the Judicial Department in the subject of the Russian Federation where the general jurisdiction court is located.
2. The procedure for creating official websites, placing information on them concerning courts' activities, the update periods for said information with due regard to the requirements set out in the present Federal Law shall be established within the scope of their powers by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, the Judicial Department, and in respect of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation by the subjects of the Russian Federation.
3. For the purpose of ensuring the general public's right to have access to the information mentioned in Part 1 of the present article, Internet connection points may be set up in places accessible for information users (on the premises of governmental bodies, local self-government bodies, state and municipal libraries and other places open to visitors).
4. For the purpose of ensuring information users' right to have access to the information mentioned in Part 1 of the present article courts, the Judicial Department and the bodies of the Judicial Department shall take measures for protecting it in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
5. The requirements applicable to the technological, software and linguistic facilities supporting the use of official websites shall be established within the scope of their powers by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation and the Judicial Department. For the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and justices of the peace said requirements shall be established in the procedure envisaged by the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

Article 11.
The Basic Requirements Applicable When Access Is Provided to Information on Courts' Activities
Below are the basic terms for provision of access to information on courts' activities:
1) the accuracy of provided information on courts' activities;
2) the observance of the term and procedure for provision of information on courts' activities;
3) the taking of restricted-access information from provided information on courts' activities;
4) the creation of organisational-technical and other conditions conducive to the realisation of a right to have access to information on courts' activities and also the formation of state information systems;
5) the keeping of record of the expenses relating to the provision of access to information on courts' activities when budget financing is being planned for courts, the Judicial Department and the bodies of the Judicial Department.

Chapter 3. Provision of Information on Courts' Activities

Article 12.
Attendance in Courtroom Sessions
1. Citizens (natural persons), including representatives of organisations (of legal entities), public associations, governmental bodies and local self-government bodies are entitled to attend a public court hearing and also to record the progress of litigation in the procedure and forms envisaged by the legislation of the Russian Federation.
2. The procedure for the persons specified in Part 1 of the present article to get access to courtrooms and the premises occupied by courts shall be established by the standing orders of courts and/or other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation.

Article 13. Promulgating (Publishing) Information on Courts' Activities
1. The promulgation (publication) of information on courts' activities in mass media shall take place in compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation on mass media, except for the cases envisaged by Part 2 of the present article.
2. If the legislation of the Russian Federation that establishes judicial proceedings, the powers of, and the procedure for operation of, courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department, the bodies of the judicial community, and in respect of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation, the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation has envisaged requirements to govern the publication of court judgements and other information on courts' activities, then the publication of courts' judgements and said information shall take place in compliance with the legislation of the Russian Federation and the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation.

Article 14. The Information on Courts' Activities Placed on the Internet
1. The following shall be placed on the Internet:
1) general information about a court:
a) the name of the court, the name of the judicial district whose territory is covered by the court's jurisdiction, the postal address, e-mail address (if any), telephone number at which reference information is available;
b) the organisational structure of the court, i.e., the plenary session of the court, the presidium of the court, the chambers of the court, permanent judgement seats, consultative and/or advisory bodies (if any), and also the structural units of the court's staff;
c) the powers of the court;
d) a list of the laws governing the court's activities;
e) the standing orders of the court, the court's paperwork instructions and the other acts regulating issues of the court's internal operation;
f) the surnames, first names and patronymics of the chairman of the court, deputy chairmen of the court, judges, the head of the court's staff, and if said persons consent, other information about them; grounds for vesting powers in the chairman of the court, deputy chairmen of the court and judges;
g) lists of the information systems and databases which are under the court (if any);
h) the title of the mass medium instituted by the court (if any);
2) information concerning case hearing in the court:
a) the requirements governing the form and content of the documents used when applications are filed with the court and/or exhibits of these documents and the procedure for filing said documents with the court;
b) information on the rate of, and the procedure for the payment of, state duty by the category of cases subject to hearing in the court;
c) information on cases which are in the court: the registration numbers of the cases, their titles or the subject matter of dispute, information on the progress of the cases in the courts, and also information on the judgements turned out on the results of hearing of the cases (included in the court's calendar with an indication of the date, time and place of the court-room session, hearing completed, postponed, suspended, terminated, voluntary settlement concluded, application dismissed and others with due regard to the details of the relevant judicial proceeding);
d) the texts of court's judgements placed with due regard to the requirements set out in Article 15 of the present Federal Law, information on the appeal thereof and on the results of such appeal, and when court's judgements are published, information on the sources of their publication;
e) the appellate procedure for court's judgements;
f) explanations, summaries and reviews concerning issues of the judicial practices of the case hearing;
g) the procedure for participants in a case to familiarise themselves with case materials;
h) the telephone numbers at which one can receive reference information, for instance on the progress of the cases which are in the court;
3) the texts of draft normative legal acts submitted by courts with legislative (representative) governmental bodies (for the courts having a right of legislative initiative);
4) judicial statistical data provided on the scope established within the scope of their powers by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation and the Judicial Department;
5) information on the court's personnel;
a) the procedure for vesting powers in judges, the requirements applicable to contenders for the position of a judge and the procedure for selecting such contenders;
b) information on a vacant position of a judge, vacant state service positions on the court's staff;
c) the procedure for citizens to enrol for undergoing state service in the court's staff, the qualification requirements applicable to contenders for vacant state service positions on the court's staff;
d) the terms for holding, and the results of, selection on a competitive basis of vacant state service positions on the court's staff;
e) the telephone numbers at which one can receive information on issues of occupying a vacant position of a judge or vacant state service positions on the court's staff;
6) information on the procedure for, and the hours of, meetings with citizens (natural persons), for instance representatives of organisations (of legal entities), public associations, governmental bodies and local self-government bodies, the procedure for consideration of their applications on issues of organisation of the court's operation, complaints against actions (omissions) of judges or employees of the court's staff not relating to the hearing of specific cases, appeals against court's judgements and procedural actions of judges and also the telephone number at which one can receive reference information;
7) information on the placement of orders for the delivery of goods, performance of works and provision of services for the needs of courts in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation on the placement of orders for the delivery of goods, performance of works and provision of services for state and municipal needs.
2. Apart from the information mentioned in Part 1 of the present article the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation shall use its official site to place the address of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on the state of constitutional lawfulness in the Russian Federation.
3. Apart from the information specified in Part 1 of the present article the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation shall use their official websites to place information on the judicial system of the Russian Federation.
4. The Judicial Department shall place the following on the Internet:
1) general information about the Judicial Department;
a) the powers and structure of the Judicial Department, the postal address, e-mail address and phone number at which one can receive reference information;
b) a list of the normative legal acts regulating the activities of the Judicial Department;
c) a list of the bodies of the Judicial Department, their powers and also the postal addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of the information services of the Judicial Department's bodies;
d) the surnames, first names and patronymics of the General Director of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, Deputy General Directors of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation and the heads of the bodies of the Judicial Department, and if said persons consent, other information about them;
e) federal target programmes and other programmes concerning issues of the development of the judicial system of the Russian Federation (if any);
f) lists of the information systems and databases which are under the Judicial Department;
2) information on the bodies of the judicial community:
a) a list of the bodies of the judicial community that operate on the territory of the Russian Federation, and the powers thereof;
b) a list of the normative legal acts regulating the activities of the judicial community's bodies;
c) decisions of the Higher Qualification College of Judges of the Russian Federation on suspending, resuming or terminating the powers of judges of relevant courts, the qualification attestation of judges and also information on imposition of disciplinary sanctions on them.
5. Apart from the information mentioned in Part 4 of the present article the Judicial Department shall place the following on the Internet:
1) the annual reports of the General Director of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the activities of the Judicial Department which are submitted to the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the Council of Judges of the Russian Federation and the All-Russia Congress of Judges;
2) the reviews of the activities of general jurisdiction courts and judicial statistical data published in the mass media in accordance with the acts regulating the activities of the Judicial Department in the area of judicial statistics;
3) information on the placement of orders for the delivery of goods, performance of works and provision of services for the needs of general jurisdiction courts in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation on the placement of orders for the delivery of goods, performance of works and provision of services for state and municipal needs.
6. A body of the Judicial Department shall place the following on the Internet:
1) general information on the body of the Judicial Department:
a) the name, powers and structure of the body of the Judicial Department, the postal address, e-mail address and telephone number of the information service of the body of the Judicial Department;
b) a list of the normative legal acts that regulate the activities of the body of the Judicial Department;
c) the surnames, first names and patronymics of the head of the Judicial Department's body, deputy heads of the Judicial Department's body, and if said persons consent, other information about them;
2) information on the bodies of the judicial community that operate on the territory of the relevant subject of the Russian Federation:
a) a list of the bodies of the judicial community and the powers of such bodies;
b) a list of the normative legal acts regulating the activities of the bodies of the judicial community;
c) decisions of the judge qualification college of the relevant subject of the Russian Federation on suspending, resuming or terminating the powers of judges of relevant courts, the qualification attestation of judges and also information on the imposition of disciplinary sanctions on them.
7. The information mentioned in the present article on the Internet shall be placed on the Internet within a term ensuring the proper timing of the information user's realisation and protection of their rights and lawful interests.

Article 15.
The Details of Placement of Texts of Court Judgements on the Internet
1. The texts of court judgements, except for verdicts, shall be placed on the Internet after they are adopted. The texts of verdicts shall be placed after they have become final.
2. The texts of the court judgements subject to publication according to a law, and also the texts of the other court judgements turned out by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and arbitration courts, except for the texts of the court judgements specified in Part 4 of the present article shall be placed on the Internet in full.

3. While placing in the internet the texts of courts' judgements issued by general jurisdiction courts, except for the texts of the courts' judgements subject to publication according to a law, for the purpose of ensuring the security of parties to judicial proceedings one shall delete the following from said judgements: personal data, except for the surnames and initials of a plaintiff, defendant, third person, civil plaintiff, civil defendant, convict, acquitted, a person in respect of which a proceeding is under way in a case of administrative offence, the secretary of the court in session, the judge(s) who has/have heard the case and also of the procurator, barrister and representative, if they have taken part in the litigation. The personal data that have been deleted shall be substituted with initials, pseudonyms or other designations not allowing to identify participants in the judicial proceeding.
4. When the texts of the court judgements that envisage provisions containing information classified as a state secret or another law-protected secret are placed on the Internet these provisions shall be omitted in the texts of the court judgements.
5. There shall not be placed on the Internet the texts of court judgements turned out in cases:
1) that affect state security;
2) that arise from family-law relationships, for instance in cases of child adoption and other cases affecting the rights and lawful interests of minors;
3) of crimes against personal sexual privacy and sexual freedom;
4) of limitation of citizen's dispositive capacity or his/her being declared as lacking dispositive capacity;
5) of a citizen's being forcibly put in a psychiatric in-patient hospital and subjected to a compulsory psychiatric examination;
6) of amending a civil status record entry;
7) of establishing the facts of legal significance that are considered by general jurisdiction courts.

8) permitted in the procedure set out in Article 126 of the Civil Procedural Code of the Russian Federation.

Article 16. Placing Information on Courts' Activities on the Premises Occupied by Courts, the Judicial Department, Bodies of the Judicial Department and Bodies of the Judicial Community
1. The premises occupied by courts shall feature information billboards and/or technical facilities intended for similar purposes which are accessible for visitors and are intended for information users to familiarise themselves with current information on the activities of the relevant court which is to contain:
1) the working procedure of the court, including the procedure for receiving citizens (natural persons), for instance representatives of organisations (legal entities), public associations, governmental bodies and local self-government bodies on issues relating to case hearing in the court and on other issues concerning the court's activities;
2) information on the date, time and place of a courtroom session and the subject matter thereof for cases included in the court's calendar;
3) the procedure for attending a courtroom session and the measures applicable to those who break it, the procedure for being cleared for entering the courtrooms where court sessions take place and to the premises occupied by courts;
4) the terms and procedure for receiving information on the court's activities;
5) the other information required for the provision of up-to-date information to information users.
2. The premises occupied by the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community shall feature information billboards and/or technical facilities intended for similar purposes which are accessible for visitors and are intended for information users to familiarise themselves with the terms and procedure for receiving information on the courts' activities, and also other information required for the provision of up-to-date information to information users.

Article 17. Getting Access to the Information on Courts' Activities Which Is in Archives
The provision of access for information users to the information on courts' activities kept in archives shall take place in the procedure established by the legislation of the Russian Federation on archives and by the other normative legal acts adopted pursuant thereto, and to information on the activities of the constitutional (charter) courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation and of justices of the peace also in the procedure established by the legislation of the subjects of the Russian Federation and the other normative legal acts of the subjects of the Russian Federation adopted pursuant thereto.

Article 18. Requesting Information on Courts' Activities
1. An information user is entitled to apply to a court, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community with an inquiry that may be sent either by the user by his representative whose powers shall be formalised in the procedure established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.
2. The following shall be indicated in the inquiry: postal address, telephone number and/or fax number or e-mail address for sending a reply to the inquiry or for clarifying the content of the inquiry and also the surname, first name and patronymic of the citizen (natural person) or the name of the organisation (legal entity), public association, governmental body, local self-government body requesting information on courts' activities. Anonymous inquiries shall not be considered. An inquiry drawn up in writing shall also contain the name of the relevant court, the Judicial Department, the name of the relevant body of the Judicial Department or the body of the judicial community to which the inquiry is sent or the surname and initials or position of the relevant official.
3. The inquiry shall be registered in courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department or bodies of the judicial community in the procedure and within the term established by the acts regulating paperwork in the courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department or the bodies of the judicial community respectively.
4. The inquiry shall be considered within 30 days after its registration, except as otherwise envisaged by the legislation of the Russian Federation. If the information requested cannot be provided within said term the information user shall be notified within seven days after the registration of the inquiry of a delay in replying to the inquiry and of the reason for the delay and the term for provision of the requested information which shall not exceed 15 days on top of the term established by the present Federal Law for a reply to an inquiry.
5. If the inquiry is beyond the scope of activities of the court, the Judicial Department, the body of the Judicial Department or the body of the judicial community to which it is addressed, then the information user who has sent it shall be notified accordingly within seven days after the registration of the inquiry. The possibility of an inquiry's being re-addressed is established by the acts regulating paperwork in courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community respectively.
6. Courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community are entitled to have the content of an inquiry clarified for the purpose of providing the information user with the necessary information on courts' activities.
7. The requirements of the present Federal Law governing an inquiry in writing and a reply to such inquiry are applicable to an inquiry that is received by a court, the Judicial Department or a body of the Judicial Department via the Internet and also to a reply to such inquiry.

Article 19. Procedure for Provision of Information on Courts' Activities on the Inquiry
1. A reply to the inquiry shall contain the information requested or a substantiated refusal to provide such information. The reply to the inquiry shall contain the name and postal address of the court, the Judicial Department, the body of the Judicial Department or the body of the judicial community, the position of the person who has signed the reply and also the details (registration number and date) of the reply to the inquiry.
2. When the information published in mass media or placed on the Internet is being requested the court, the Judicial Department, the body of the Judicial Department or the body of the judicial community may only indicate the following in its reply: the title, date of issue and number of the mass medium in which the requested information has been published and/or the e-mail address of the official website on which the requested information has been placed.
3. If the requested information on courts' activities is deemed restricted-access information the following shall be indicated in a reply to the inquiry: the type, title, number and date of adoption of the act under which access to this information is restricted. If a part of the requested information is deemed restricted-access information and the rest of the information is open for the general public the requested information shall be provided, except for the restricted-access information.
4. Replies to inquiries are subject to compulsory registration in courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community.
5. Information on courts' activities shall be provided free of charge, except as otherwise established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Article 20. The Grounds Precluding the Possibility of Provision of Information on Courts' Activities
1. No information on courts' activities shall be provided if:
1) the content of the inquiry does not allow to identify the information on courts' activities being requested;
2) the following is not indicated in the inquiry: a postal address, e-mail address or fax number for the purposes of sending a reply to the inquiry or a telephone number for getting in contact with the information user who has sent the inquiry;
3) the requested information is beyond the activities of the court, the Judicial Department, the body of the Judicial Department or the body of the judicial community which has received the inquiry;
4) the requested information is deemed restricted-access information;
5) the requested information is an interference in the administration of justice;
6) the provision of the requested information does not allow to ensure the security of participants in the trial;
7) the requested information has been earlier provided to the information user;
8) the inquiry contains a question concerning the construction of a law norm, an explanation of its applicability or a legal assessment of courts' judgements, the elaboration of a legal position on an issue, an analysis of judicial practices or the performance of another analytical work on the inquiry that does not directly relate to protection of the rights of the information user who sent the inquiry.
2. Courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community are entitled to abstain from providing information on courts' activities on an inquiry if such information has been published in the mass media or placed on official websites of courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community.

Chapter 4. The Interaction of Courts, the Judicial Department, the Bodies of the Judicial Department and the Bodies of the Judicial Community with the Editorial Boards of the Mass Media

Article 21. The Goals and Forms of Interaction of Courts, the Judicial Department, the Bodies of the Judicial Department and the Bodies of the Judicial Community with the Editorial Boards of Mass Media
1. The interaction of courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community with the editorial boards of mass media shall be carried out to provide objective, reliable and up-to-date information to information users on courts' activities.
2. The interaction of courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community with the editorial boards of mass media may envisage the following:
1) free access for representatives of the editorial boards of the mass media to courts' premises where information is placed concerning courts' activities and also their attendance in public courtroom sessions;
2) the attendance of representatives of the editorial boards of the mass media at meetings of bodies of the judicial community in the procedure established by acts governing the operation of said bodies;
3) the provision of information on courts' activities on inquiries of the editorial boards of the mass media;
4) information coverage of courts' activities, for instance issues of improvement of the legislation that regulates said activities;
5) the participation of representatives of the courts, the Judicial Department, bodies of the Judicial Department and bodies of the judicial community in press conferences and other joint events where representatives of the editorial board of the mass media are present;
6) the accreditation of representatives of the editorial boards of the mass media with the courts, the Judicial Department, the bodies of the Judicial Department and the bodies of the judicial community;
7) the other forms of interaction conducive to the provision of information on courts' activities to information users.

Article 22. Official Representatives of Courts, the Judicial Department, Bodies of the Judicial Department and Bodies of the Judicial Community
1. The official representatives of a court who carry out interaction with the editorial boards of the mass media are as follows: the chairman of the court or the official who is empowered by the chairman of the court.
2. The official representatives of the Judicial Department and bodies of the Judicial Department who carry out interaction with the editorial boards of mass media are as follows, respectively: the General Director of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the heads of the bodies of the Judicial Department or the officials empowered by the General Director of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, and the heads of the bodies of the Judicial Department respectively.
3. For the purpose of organising interaction with the editorial boards of mass media courts (except for district courts, garrison military courts, justices of the peace), the Judicial Department and bodies of the Judicial Department may designate in their staffs relevant structural units whose rights and duties in the implementation of said interaction shall be established by the standing orders of the courts and/or other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation and acts of the Judicial Department respectively.
4. The official representatives of bodies of the judicial community who carry out interaction with the editorial boards of mass media are as follows: members of the relevant bodies of the judicial community who are empowered to carry out such interaction under the federal laws regulating the activities of judicial community bodies and/or acts of bodies of the judicial community.

Article 23.
Settling Disputes Relating to Mass Media Coverage of Courts' Activities
Disputes relating to mass media coverage of courts' activities shall be settled by a court in the procedure established by a law. Disputes relating to the mass media coverage of courts' activities may also be settled in an extrajudicial procedure by the bodies or organisations whose cognisance encompasses the settlement of information disputes.

Chapter 5. The Protection of a Right to Have Accessbto Information on Courts' Activities,
Control over the Provision of Access to Information on Courts' Activities


Article 24. The Protection of a Right to Have Access to Information on Courts' Activities
The decisions and actions (omissions) of officials that infringe on a right to have access to information on courts' activities are subject to appeal in the procedure established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Article 25. Control over the Provision of Access to Information on Courts' Activities
1. Control over the provision of access to information on courts activities is the responsibility, within the scope of their powers, of the chairmen of courts, the General Director of the Judicial Department under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, the heads of the bodies of the Judicial Department and the members of bodies of the judicial community empowered to exercise said control.
2. The procedure for exercising control over the provision of access to information on courts' activities shall be established by the standing orders and/or other acts regulating issues of courts' internal operation, acts of the Judicial Department and acts of judicial community bodies.

Chapter 6. Conclusive Provisions

Article 26.
The Entry into Force of the Present Federal Law
The present Federal Law shall enter into force as of July 1, 2010.

President of the Russian Federation                                                                        D.Medvedev

The Kremlin, Moscow
No. 262-FZ
December 22, 2008