This study has demonstrated that the realization of judicial reform in Russia, for all its accomplishments, remains in an early stage and requires many further initiatives to make Russia's courts autonomous, powerful, fair, and respected. We have identified more than thirty measures that would advance this goal.
Joining all of our recommendations is a perspective on the challenge of reforming justice in Russia. In general, we adopt a position that differs from those of both the radical minded scholars (some of whom seek to replace inquisitorial procedure with adversarial) and jurists in Russia who prefer minimal change. We, the authors of this study, stand strongly behind the moderate reform agenda (described in Chapter 1), as developed and supported by the judicial community in Russia since 1995. This agenda assumes the continuation in Russia of both the Civil Law tradition (including neoinquisitorial criminal procedure, though with more adversarial imports) and a centralized judicial system (with only minimal elements of federalism). The moderate reform agenda does not stress the attainment in Russian justice of international standards of human rights, but it does not deny that goal. And, while supporting the moderate reform agenda, we also endorse some of the recommendations of bodies like the Council of Europe, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch concerning, for example, conditions of pretrial detention. 1 Moreover, we stand firmly behind the efforts of the Russian judicial chiefs to avoid the potential tragedy of losing the reform gains to date as a result of systematic underfunding of the courts, significant decentralization within the courts and legal system, or a failure to reverse the decline in the quality of new judges.