A bill designed to speed up railway construction, Russian Railways, met sharp criticism of lawyers. According to the amendments, the President of the Russian Federation to approve the list of priority construction projects for which fully or partially cancelled a number of building and environmental regulations. The Council for codification of civil legislation considered this approach “conceptually inappropriate”, particularly in regard to granting the President the power to cancel the norms of Federal legislation outside emergency. Lawyers agree that the bill is questionable from the point of view of its conformity with the Constitution.The presidential Council of the Russian Federation on codification and enhancement of civil legislation gave expert opinion on the draft amendments to the act on rail transport introduced by the group of deputies of the state Duma. The amendments are intended to simplify the coordination of railway construction projects under the comprehensive plan of modernization of infrastructure until 2024 (KPMI), which, in particular, includes increasing the capacity of BAM and Transsib to 180 million tons, the growth in container transit four times and other projects. At the conclusion of the Council of 10 April stated that the bill “cannot be supported based on his full conceptual unsuitability”.The bill establishes an easy coordination and management of construction for priority projects, the list of which is determined by the President of the Russian Federation. So, the documentation on planning the territory of priority infrastructure may be approved in the absence of such facilities in the territorial planning documents and without conducting public discussions and public hearings. Possible adjustment of the boundaries of specially protected natural territories. The court’s decision on seizure of land for construction of priority facilities subject to immediate execution is allowed to start construction before obtaining a building permit, etc. However, the Council for the codification of the document was perceived very negatively. “The purpose of which would be cancelled the action indicated by the draft legislative acts that are not justified nor the literal content of the projected provisions or even considerations of the importance of the implementation of priority infrastructure projects in rail transport”,— the document says.It is noted that the bill the President has the authority to rescind the action of certain rules of Federal law, and this can be seen as an analogy of the Institute of emergency, but it is much less certain. The consequences of the application of design provisions, “thus adversely can affect many protected by law intethe benefit,” according to the document. The Russian Railways declined to comment.Examination of the Council for the codification of mandatory in cases where issues of civil law, says the head of analytical Department of legal firm “Intralux” Olga Pleshanova. Although, she notes, a bill can be passed and in case of negative opinion of the Council, his opinion is usually taken into account. In this case, emphasizes the lawyer, the conclusion is not just negative, but very hard, which is rare.Partner “Rustam Kurmaev and partners” Dmitry Gorbunov said that with a number of the Council’s conclusions could not agree more. So, the bill proposes the creation of exceptional conditions, involving either a reduction of state regulation of investment process in the implementation of the Railways of their projects, or the lack of it. The decision to use this exceptional procedure is left personally for the President of the Russian Federation, that is, in fact, there is disregard for the principle of separation of powers between the legislative, judicial and Executive, said Mr. Gorbunov.The project aims at the establishment of the emergency regime and granting the President emergency powers in regulating individual projects, agrees Olga Pleshanova. Of course, she notes, is contrary to the General principles of the civil law and is not consistent with the constitutional rules that the civil legal relations shall be regulated by law at the Federal level.Natalia Skorlygina
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