Faina Ranevskaya, a legendary Russian actress of the 20th century, complained about questions asked by youth the following way: “Earlier, I could not find answers to their questions, but, now ,I do not understand at all what I am asked about.” These could be probably the words of Moscow Arbitration Court Chairman Alla Bolshova when she saw a complaint of one of the parties of a case.
The complaint said that judges subordinate to the chairman used materials obtained independently on the Internet to substantiate their conclusions in court documents. Alla Bolshova was at a loss: indeed, nothing is said about the Internet in the Arbitrage Code of Procedures. The matter of the fact is that nothing is said about the possibility of obtaining evidence on the Internet; however, it is not banned at the same time. The Arbitration Court chairman could never guess that really significant facts could be found in some international network, as she was completely ignorant of the Internet. As far as the woman could not understand the meaning of the letter, she decided to respond to it the way she traditionally did: Alla Bolshova replied that the judges knew perfectly well what they did; however, if the court decisions are disagreeable to someone, they could be appealed against. The situation really made the court chairman think about retirement, as every new day brought so much information about the world that the poor woman could hardly apprehend everything.
At the same time, the appeal sent to the Moscow Arbitration Court is really very interesting. PRAVDA.Ru has received a resolution of the board of appeal at the Moscow Arbitration Court. We can’t disclose the details of the case, as the proceedings have not yet been completed.
The reason for the case is that an enterprise has incorporated into a newly founded bank as its founder. At that, the company was entered in the register incorrectly: nothing was mentioned about its juridical form. For example, at the time when an enterprise is called OOO “NPK…” it is registered as simply “NPK…”. How can we determine whether it is one and the same company or two different ones? The Moscow Chamber of Registration can provide registration documents concerning the bank and the enterprise for comparison.
However, this rather ordinary procedure takes a lot of time. An Internet connection was installed in the court building long ago. That is why judge Konovalova presiding at the proceedings decided to speed up the process. The judge searched for information necessary to settle the case on the Internet, among materials for common use, as Konovalova herself said. And, finally, the important information was found! Based on the information obtained on the Internet, the judges issued a resolution of the board of appeal. It is said in the appeal that “NPK…” really existed and the information about the enterprise was available on the Internet. As a result, OOO “NPK…” was said to have have no connection with “NPK…” In addition, nothing was mentioned about OOO “NPK…” on the Internet at all.
Just imagine: three judges who have considerable experience in the arbitration system decreed that information available on the Internet was significant from a juridical point of view. Thus, one of the basic principles of the arbitration law on evidence admissibility was reviewed. It is interesting that the board of appeal supported the innovation.
Alla Bolshova could have understood everything if it were described this very way in the appeal of the party dissatisfied with a decision passed. However, the Arbitration court chairman was not explained the situation at all. In this connection, far-reaching conclusions could be drawn. As soon as a court decision comes into effect, it becomes customary for arbitration courts and could be referred to in other cases.
The other day, PRAVDA.Ru censured Duma deputies for interference into legal proceedings, and actual cases considered in Russia and the USA were mentioned as examples at that. It is to be admitted that nowadays judges actively settle problems under jurisdiction of law makers who determine which evidence can be used for dispute settlement and which can’t. And dismissal of such facts with one’s own incompetence means recognition of the fact that one does not comply with the occupied position. Pyotr Ermilin PRAVDA.Ru
In the photo: Moscow Arbitration Court chairman Alla Bolshova
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/29/43467.html