Latest news from Russia and Kazakhstan

E-Signature Law Updated in Russia

Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, signed into force a new federal law on electronic signatures, replacing the older 2002 law on the matter. According to the new law, there will be three different types of e-signatures, ranging from simple to complex ones. The e-signature is supposed to be widely used in dealing with state services over the Internet. The move is part of Medvedev’s long-term e-government project.  Original article.

Strasbourg Court Holds Russian Republican Party Dissolution Illegal

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found illegal the dissolution of Russia’s Republican Party. The democracy-oriented Republican Party was created in 1990. In 2002, a new law on political parties was enacted, imposing restrictive requirements for party registration, including the requirement that each party have at least 50,000 members (up from 5,000 under the older law). The Ministry of Justice initiated the de-registration of the party on the grounds that it has an insufficient number of members, and in 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the party disbanded. Party leader Vladimir Ryzhkov filed a complaint with the ECHR arguing that the Ministry had no power to recount members of a party that had already been registered. The ECHR held for the Republican Party and awarded it $10,000 in legal expenses. Ryzhkov, however, does not intend to revive the Republican Party because he is participating in the creation of the new “Party of People's Freedom,” along with opposition leaders Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov. Currently, there are only seven parties registered in Russia. Original article.

Six Kazakh Supreme Court Justices Dismissed over Corruption Charges

Kazakhstan’s Senate (parliament’s upper chamber), acting upon a petition from President Nursultan Nazarbayev, dismissed six Supreme Court judges related to corruption charges recently brought against them. The charges allege that the judges “entered judgments in favor of private persons in breach of rights of citizens and the state.” Senators also recommended that Supreme Court Chairman Musabek Alimbekov resign voluntarily.  Original article.

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