The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Upholds Position of KIAP’s Attorneys with respect to Seizure of Third Party’s Property during Criminal Proceedings

Attorneys of Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law submitted to the Constitutional Court a request to verify validity of Part 9 Article 115 of the Criminal Proceedings Code of the Russian Federation, which at the opinion of the Firm’s lawyers contradicts Article 19 (Part 1), Article 34 (Part 1) and Article 35 (Parts 1-3) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation as it allows unlimited duration of property seizure imposed upon the assets of the person that was not held criminally responsible as a suspect or a defendant in the criminal case before the court, during the period after the proceedings on such criminal case ended, in the absence of any claim produced in the format of civil legal proceedings, which measure would therefore prevent such person from being able to exercise such person’s property rights.

Having reviewed the materials submitted by the attorneys, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation did not find grounds for the complaint to be accepted for further proceedings; however in its ruling the Court mentioned that: “Part 9 Article 115 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation contested by the applicant provides that the seizure of property can be revoked within the current system of legal regulations including in correlation with other norms of criminal laws and procedural norms through a resolution or ruling of the party or agency that conducts proceedings on the criminal case, at the time when such measure would no longer be necessary, and allows that such measure of procedural enforcement may be implemented only for the period of preliminary investigation and court proceedings on the criminal matter within the terms established under the law (Articles 162, 223, 227 and 233 of the Criminal Proceedings Code of the Russian Federation); however not after the criminal proceedings under the criminal case would have ended and the court decision would have entered in its legal force, especially under the circumstances if the filed civil claim was left without further examination.  Any different approach would have led to a replacement of the mechanisms for the resolution of property related disputes based on individual rights with the mechanism based on criminal procedure, which would furthermore be exceeding the timeline for the relationship due to the criminal procedure.”

Therefore the Constitutional Court gave an exhaustive response with respect to this matter, important for the entire Russian law enforcement body of precedent at the crossover segment of criminal and civil legal regulations in part of application of the provisions relevant to the system of property ownership rights including prevention of having such rights restricted outside of the strictly established timetable offered under the applicable criminal laws and procedural regulations.

The project was implemented with participations of KIAP’s attorneys Julia SergeevaAndrey Korelskiy and Julia Kirpikova.

The Russian text of the ruling can be found here.