On December 12, 2008, the Russian Duma approved by 355-85 a bill that effectively ended jury trials for suspects accused of terrorism and treason. The bill replaced the jury system with a three judge panel. In January 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill into law, along with another amendment giving prosecutors broader investigative authority over terrorism and treason cases. Jury trials in Russian criminal procedure were previously already rare approximately 700 of more than 1.2 million criminal trials in Russia were jury trials during 2006. Critics of the law argued the amendments were counter to Medvedev's proposal that Russian courts become more transparent in order to restore faith in the justice system and prevent people from turning to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Russian coat of arms