State Duma's Legislators Offer Visitors Virtual Tour

The State Duma's legislation committee has taken a bold step into cyberspace with the launch of its Russian-language web site (

The main page displays different views of the Duma building itself, while visitors' screens are filled with a white and dark-blue color scheme, with the left side containing navigation functions within the site.

Although ordinary in appearance with a design focused on simplicity, the site is well-organized and easy to navigate and offers a clear view into how laws are passed.

After a large welcome message at the top of browser windows, the site's publishers highlight the five main subjects on the site: civil legislation, criminal legislation, international law pertaining to Russia's international obligations, amnesty issues and procedural issues on how laws are passed.

For general information there is a section called "about the committee" devoted to explaining its functions.

In this section, committee members are listed and their opinions are given on the law-making process.

Within the "work plan" section are chronological listings of draft laws that have been discussed or are scheduled to be discussed. The list is divided up by month, with each project receiving a two-line description.

Beneath each description is a link to further information about the particular legislation including the draft's name, when it was submitted, which deputy proposed the bill and which Duma committees cooperated.

The site has a section devoted to the committee's appearances in the press. Here visitors can read transcripts of speeches or debates and find out when they appeared in the press. There is also a timetable of upcoming parliamentary debates.