$1.8 bln needed to reform Russia's judicial system - ministry

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MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's economics ministry said Thursday about 48.5 billion rubles (about $1.8 billion) would be spent on judicial reform in the next five years.

The Economic Development and Trade Ministry has drafted the concept for a federal program to develop the country's judicial system in 2007-2011 and has submitted it to the government for discussion.

"The program aims to raise the quality of justice and enhance judicial protection of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens and organizations," says the concept, published on the ministry's Web site.

The program proposes to increase judicial reform financing from 6 billion rubles (about $222 million) in 2007 to almost 12 billion rubles (about $444 million) in 2010-2011. Government capital investment in the five-year period will total more than 40 billion rubles (about $1.4 billion).

The program aims to make the judiciary open, accessible and transparent, and to raise citizens' trust in the courts.

The concept says it aims to increase the number of citizens who trust courts from the current 19% to 50% by 2011 and the share of enforced judicial acts from 52% to 82%.

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