According to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the judiciary is one of the three independent branches of power.
The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court, which hears cases in cassation and appeal, and in some cases as a court of first instance. It supervises the activities of courts of general jurisdiction (including military courts), summarizes judicial practice and provides clarifications on law enforcement issues.
Courts of general jurisdiction administer justice in civil, criminal and administrative cases. As a rule, cases are considered by district courts, while higher courts consider cases in cassation and appeal procedures. For some categories of civil and criminal cases in Russia in 2002, the institute of justices of the peace was established.
Cases of crimes committed by military personnel are considered by military courts. Economic disputes between business entities, or between business entities and state bodies are considered by arbitration courts.
Cases on compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation of normative and law enforcement acts of state bodies and local self-government bodies are considered by the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the constitutional courts of the subjects of the federation.