Organizational Structure of Forensic Institutions System of the Russian Ministry of Justice

The system of state forensic institutions of the Ministry of Justice of Russia (hereinafter - FIs) is composed of 43 forensic laboratories (hereinafter - FL), 9 regional forensic science centres (hereinafter - RFSC) and 1 federal centre of forensic science – Federal budgetary entity the Russian Federal Centre of Forensic Science of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – RFCFS).

All these institutions were established in accordance with the resolutions of the Government of the USSR and Russia. The sole founding party of these institutions is the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (see section: Founders), to whom they are directly subordinate in all matters of statutory activity, except for certain issues of financial and economic activities defined by the current legislation.

All forensic institutions (hereinafter – FIs) are federal budgetary entities. Their activities are regulated by the Federal Law #73 as of 31.05.2001 «Regarding the state forensic activities in the Russian Federation" and other regulatory legal acts of the Russian Federation and by their Charters as well.

The FIs chief executives are appointed and dismissed by the order of the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation. The employees of the FIs are appointed and dismissed by the head of the relevant FIs.

The main statutory goal of all FIs is to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens and state interests by performing objective and scientifically based forensic expertise.

The FIs main task is to assist the bodies or persons, qualified to assign forensic examinations, in establishing the subject-to-proof circumstances of a specific case as well as in verification of crime reports through resolution of issues requiring special knowledge in the field of science, technics, art or craft through organisation and performance of forensic examinations and expert research.

Regional Forensic Science Centres, in addition to expert activities of their own, are tasked to provide scientific and methodic support and coordination of the scientific and methodological work to the supervised forensic laboratories. The territories of expert services rendered by the RFSC, as well as the supervision of specific forensic laboratories, are approved by the orders of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. Currently, the regional centres operating in the system of forensic institutions of the Russian Ministry of Justice are as follows:

  • FBE Voronezh RFSC (City of Voronezh),
  • FBE Far Eastern RFSC (City of Khabarovsk),
  • FBE Privolzhsky RFSC,
  • FBE North-West RFSC (City of St. Petersburg),
  • FBE Siberian RFSC (City of Novosibirsk),
  • FBE Sredne-Volzhsk RFSC (City of Kazan'),
  • FBE RFSC (City of Ekaterinburg),
  • FBE Northern Caucauses RFSC (City of Stavropol),
  • FBE RFSC (City of Rostov).

The list of types and varieties of forensic expertise performed by the RFSE includes most of the general list of expertise performed by the FIs of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. The experts attested on a broad range of expert specialties are working here. They are able to solve expert tasks using the RFSC state-of-art analytical equipment and instrumental base.

Zonal forensic laboratories of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation perform their expert activities on the basis of the Statutes within the scope of the list of types of expertise approved for each laboratory. The laboratories interact with RFCFS on the issues of scientific and methodological work, employees training and qualification upgrading and statistical data processing.

The traditional forensic expertise are performed mainly in small FLs and their non-resident units (departments, groups) such as handwriting expertise, technical expertise of documents, trace evidence and ballistic expertise as well as auto vehicle expertise (including the vehicles evaluation), forensic construction and technical expertise and economic expertise (primarily the accounting expertise).

Larger and more developed FLs, possessing the required specialists and proper instrumental base, perform more than 10 types and varieties of expertise. In addition to the above mentioned ones they perform forensic expertise of materials, substances and products (FEMSP), soil and biological, engineering and technical, merchandising, fire and technical, pshycological exminations etc.

One of the important organizational structures of the Ministry of Justice of Russia FIs is the RFCFS of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. According to the Decree of the Russian Government #1133 dated October 6, 1994 "Regarding forensic institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation" (as amended on April 19h, 1999) RFCFS of the Russian Ministry of Justice provides scientific and methodological support for the research conducted by the FIs of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation at the current scientific level.

The RFCFS expert proceedings are mainly focused on performing high level initial and recurrent forensic examinations, which cannot be performed by other FIs of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. In addition, among the main tasks of the RFCFS is the key role player in providing scientific and methodological support to the FIs of the Ministry of Justice of Russia in forensic examinations production, as well the providing of training and qualification upgrading to the employees of the Russian Ministry of Justice FIs in the forensic science field.

For that purpose the scientific and methodological council has been established and is effectively functioning in the RFCFS of the Russian Ministry of Justice. There is also the Academic Board, which main task is the consideration of new types and varieties of forensic examinations as well of the advanced research and developments in the field of forensic science and their practical application by the FIs of the Russian Ministry of Justice.

The full list of forensic institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and territorial areas of expert services as well the list of the FBE-supervised forensic laboratories are given below.

Order #285

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