Courts and Transition in Russia: The Challenge of Judicial Reform

By Peter H. Solomon Jr.; Todd S. Foglesong | Go to book overview
extent possible the obtaining of benefits for individual judges.
3.2. To reduce pressures on judges to conform: (a) discourage the reliance in evaluations of judges' work upon quantitative indicators of performance, especially "stability of sentences"; (b) reorganize the system of kurators so that the same superior court judge does not instruct and review cases from any particular judge.
3.3. To refine, but not eliminate, the guidance provided by the Supreme Court to judges on lower courts: (a) keep the "explanations" issued by the Supreme Court, but widening the process of selecting issues to be covered; and (b) increase the number of Supreme Court decisions that are published.
3.4. To improve the Judicial Qualification Commissions: (a) clarify legal procedures; and (b) increase funding.
3.5. Convene a conference on judicial misconduct and accountability, emphasizing European approaches to these issues.
3.6. In establishing the Judicial Departments: (a) ensure that the court administrators serve as the representatives of their court chairmen rather than of the departments; (b) make sure that the departments are well funded and not forced to seek resources below the federal level.

Notes
1.
Memo to Rule of Law Consortium, reporting a judge's claim that chairmen give mafia cases to judges known to be lenient.
2.
For the case of comrade Pichugin, a judge in Novosibirsk who joined the bench in 1990 solely in order to get an apartment but was forced to sue in order to obtain it, see Todd S.Foglesong, "The Politics of Judicial Independence and the Administration of Criminal Justice, 1982-1992", unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, 1995, Chapter 5. More recently, the chairman of a district court in Ryazan was dismissed after it was discovered he used funds stipulated for judicial enforcers to obtain housing for three of the judges on his court, including himself.
3.
Case management and distribution in the late Soviet period is discussed in Foglesong, "The Politics of Judicial Independence", Chapter 2.
4.
Interviews.
5.
On 26 June 1995, the Presidium of the Council of Judges overturned a regulation (polozhenie) of the Altai Territory Court which had authorized its chairman to deprive judges of their bonuses for reversals, delays, and even "poorly prepared procedural documents." For more observations on the subtle forms which higher court influence and directions take, see Sergei Pashin, "Razvitiesudebnoi sisteme Rossiiskoi Federatsii"

-61-

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Courts and Transition in Russia: The Challenge of Judicial Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface ix
  • Notes xii
  • Part One - Courts and Their Reform in Post-Soviet Russia 1
  • 1 - Judicial Reform in Russia: Politics and Policies 3
  • Notes 20
  • Part Two - Building Judicial Institutions 27
  • Notes 28
  • 2 - The Independence of Courts and Judges 29
  • Notes 43
  • 3 - The Autonomy and Accountability of Trial Court Judges 47
  • Notes 61
  • 4 - Jurisdiction, Power, and Prestige 67
  • Notes 85
  • 5 - Staffing the Courts: Recruitment and Training 92
  • Notes 108
  • Part Three - Improving Performance 111
  • Notes 112
  • 6 - The Administration of Justice: Simplification and Efficiency 114
  • Notes 135
  • 7 - Criminal Justice: the Pre-Trial Phase 142
  • Notes 157
  • 8 - Civil and Commercial Judgments: the Problem of Implementation 163
  • Notes 174
  • Part Four - Strategy: the Agenda for Reform *
  • 9 - What Remains to Be Done 177
  • Notes 193
  • Appendix A - Key Laws in Russian Judicial Reform (1991-1998) 199
  • Appendix B - Composite List of Recommendations 202
  • Appendix C - Survey of Judges: Selected Questions 206
  • Appendix D - List of Persons Consulted or Interviewed 211
  • Index 215
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