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Supreme Court of Russia

Coordinates: 55°45′15″N 37°35′35″E / 55.75417°N 37.59306°E / 55.75417; 37.59306
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Supreme Court of the Russian Federation
Верховный суд Российской Федерации
Emblem of the Supreme Court
The building of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation in Moscow
55°45′15″N 37°35′35″E / 55.75417°N 37.59306°E / 55.75417; 37.59306
Established4 January 1923; 101 years ago (1923-01-04)
Location13 Povarskaya Street, Moscow (planned for relocation to Saint Petersburg)
Coordinates55°45′15″N 37°35′35″E / 55.75417°N 37.59306°E / 55.75417; 37.59306
Composition methodAppointment by Federation Council with nomination by President of Russia based on the proposal by Prime Minister of Russia
Authorized byConstitution of Russia
Judge term lengthMandatory retirement at age 70
Number of positions170, by law
Chief Justice
CurrentlyIrina Podnosova
Since17 April 2024
First Deputy Chief Justice
CurrentlyPyotr Serkov

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Russian: Верховный суд Российской Федерации, romanized: Verkhovny sud Rossiyskoy Federatsii) is a court within the judiciary of Russia and the court of last resort in Russian administrative law, civil law and criminal law cases. It also supervises the work of lower courts. Its predecessor is the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union.

According to Article 22 of the Federal Law "On the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation", the permanent residence of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is the city of Saint Petersburg. However, this provision comes into force from the date when the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation begins to function in this city, which is conducted by the President of the Russian Federation in accordance with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. Until that date, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation shall exercise its powers in the city of Moscow.[1]


There are 115 members of the Supreme Court.[2][3] Supreme Court judges are nominated by the President of Russia and appointed by the Federation Council. In order to become a judge, a person must be a citizen of Russia, be at least 35 years old, have a legal education, and have at least 10 years of service.

The Supreme Court consists of the Judicial Panel for Civil Affairs, the Judicial Panel for Criminal Affairs, and the Military Panel, which deal with respective cases. Those cases in which the Supreme Court is the original jurisdiction are heard by the panels. Appeals of the decisions of the panels are brought to the Cassation Panel. Whereas a panel reviews the decisions of lower courts, an appeal is brought to the Presidium of the Supreme Court.

Plenary sessions of the Supreme Court are held at least once every four months. A plenary session must be attended by all judges of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General of Russia. At plenary sessions the Supreme Court studies the judicial decisions of lower courts on various topics and adopts resolutions, which establish recommendations on the interpretation of particular provisions of law for lower courts for uniform application. Russian law does not recognize judicial precedent as a source of law, but courts strictly follow such recommendations.

The Academic Consultative Council attached to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Russian: Научно-консультативный совет при Верховном Суде Российской Федерации, romanizednauchno-konsultativnyy sovet pri verkhovnom sudeh rossiyskoy federatsii) is a body created in order to assist the Supreme Court in various legal and academic matters. It comprises members of the Supreme Court itself, academics, practicing lawyers, and law enforcement officers. The members of the Academic Consultative Council are elected at plenary sessions of the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has original jurisdiction in certain cases. Those include: challenging of individual acts of the Federal Assembly and decrees of the President of Russia and the Government of Russia; challenging of delegated legislation of governmental agencies; termination of political parties and all-Russian NGOs; challenging of actions of Central Electoral Commission of Russia when organizing presidential elections, State Duma elections or referendum. The Supreme Court may also hear criminal cases against members of the Federation Council of Russia and the State Duma and federal judges by their discretion.

The Supreme Court is also the court of last resort for cases heard in lower courts since it reviews decisions of lower courts. When petition requesting reverse of a decision of a Supreme Court of Federal Subject comes to the Supreme Court it is observed by one of the judges of the Supreme Court. He may either submit it to respective Board or decline to do it if he finds decision of a lower court "lawful and well-grounded" (common legal expression in Russian courts). The Supreme Court may either affirm or reverse the decision of a lower court. If it is reversed the Supreme Court either renders its own resolution or provides that the case is to be reheard in lower courts.

Chief Justice[edit]

  Denotes acting Chief Justices
Chief Justice Took office Left office
1 Vyacheslav Lebedev
26 December 1991 23 February 2024
Pyotr Serkov
24 February 2024 17 April 2024
2 Irina Podnosova
17 April 2024 Incumbent


  1. ^ "Article 22. Permanent seat of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation (Edition as of 2 August 2019)". Collection of federal laws of the Russian Federation (in Russian). Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  2. ^ Gauslaa, Jon (11 September 2002). "Supreme Court 2000: The reputation of the Presidium". Bellona Foundation. Archived from the original on 25 December 2004.
  3. ^ Foglesong, Todd (2001). "The Dynamics of Judicial (In)dependence in Russia". In Russell, Peter H.; O'Brien, David M. (eds.). Judicial Independence in the Age of Democracy: Critical Perspectives from Around the World. University of Virginia Press. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-81-392016-0.

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