In Part Two we examine the state and operation of courts and the judiciary in post-Soviet Russia. Our goals are to dissect their strengths and weaknesses, analyze the impact of judicial reform to date, and, above all, determine what needs to be done now and in the future to make courts in Russia independent, autonomous, powerful, respected, and wellrun. Our perspective on these matters comes largely from an inside view of the courts, for we have benefited from unusually rich statistical data, helpful and candid informants, and extensive participant-observation.
In diagnosing and prescribing cures for problems in the courts of Russia, we have found the experience of the judiciary in North America to be of little help. The reason is that many aspects of Russia's political and economic development, not to speak of its legal traditions, make the process of building and improving judicial institutions in that country distinctive. For example, the bureaucratization of the career judiciary in Russia, however imperfect, generates powerful pressures on judges from their own court hierarchy to conform to the expectations of superiors, pressures that can be curbed only through improvements in judicial administration and career management. Other factors such as informal political relations, the bureaucratic economy, and enduring patrimonial patterns of authority at the level of local government also create special problems for judicial independence, which greater and more centralized funding alone may not resolve. 1
In many aspects of judicial institution building, post-Soviet Russia has made great strides, and for this reason the recommendations we make tend to be modest in scope (though not necessarily in cost). By and large,