On February 7, 2011, the President of the Russian Federation signed the new Federal Law on Police. The Law, which was proposed by the President last year, entered into force on March 1, 2011. It appears that the main novelty of the Law is the renaming of the law enforcement force from the current “militia” to “police.” While the new Law specifies that as of March 1, 2011, new police officers will be required to introduce themselves as police when interacting with citizens and to have name tags displayed on a newly designed uniform, the nature of the force remains the same.Rules on the conduct of police services are not defined by this Law and will be outlined in ministerial acts, to be adopted in future.
The new law sets out the rights and obligations of Interior Ministry personnel essential for ensuring the police force’s proper and efficient work and preventing unjustified misuse of police powers. The law also frees the police from duplicating other agencies’ responsibilities and performing duties not properly part of their work, and reinforces a partnership model of relations between society and the law enforcement agencies.