St.Petersburg is hosting celebrations devoted to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Justice Ministry.
On Thursday after the ceremonial session the department's employees brought flowers to the monument of Peter the Great on Dekabristy square. Afterwards, the Russian state historical archive opened the exhibition "The Justice Ministry of Russia turns 200".
On September 21st, 1802, in St.Petersburg Emperor Alexander I in his manifest "On Approval of Ministries" introduced the post of a justice minister, general-prosecutor. The justice ministry was charged with preparing legal acts and administering courts and prosecutors' offices.
After the October Socialist revolution the ministry was abolished, yet as soon as on November 8th, 1917, the People's Commissariat (Soviet Ministry) of Justice was set up and at once gained extensive powers. In 1956 the USSR supreme justice body, the ministry of justice, was abolished again and re-appeared only in 1970.
The modern Justice Ministry is a multi-profile federal executive body heading the single centralized system of justice bodies and institutions of the Russian Federation.
Since the mid-1990s the ministry has been gradually acquiring new powers. In 1997 it received the right to coordinate law-making activities and started to form the bailiff service. In 1998 the ministry began setting up a system of justice institutions for state registration of real estate rights and transactions.
In the same year the system of executing criminal punishment was transferred from the interior ministry to the justice ministry. In compliance with the Russian President's decrees for strengthening the vertical of power, ensuring the fulfilment of state policy in the justice sphere and conducting legal reforms, the ministry in 2000 set up its federal departments in 7 federal districts.