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Russia Constitutional Court moving to St. Petersburg after revised bill passed

[JURIST] The Russian Constitutional Court [RIN backgrounder] will now hold its sessions in St. Petersburg, rather than its current Moscow location, after Russia's Federation Council [official website; MosNews backgounder] voted 147-2 to approve the authorizing bill. The bill, which was approved by the Russian State Duma [JURIST report] in December, was revised to permit the Court to hold visiting sessions anywhere in the Russian Federation. The Court is also authorized to maintain a Moscow office "to ensure cooperation with the federal authorities," a provision seen as allowing some perhaps-recalcitrant judges [Kommersant backgrounder] to continue working from a Moscow base.

Russian President Vladimir Putin [official profile], a St. Petersburg native, has previously said that the Court is expected to begin operations in St. Petersburg in late 2007 or early 2008. Interfax has more. Prime-Tass has additional coverage.

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