Courts and Transition in Russia: The Challenge of Judicial Reform

By Peter H. Solomon Jr.; Todd S. Foglesong | Go to book overview

APPENDIX C
Survey of Judges: Selected Questions

Between spring and fall of 1997 a questionnaire written by us was administered to judges throughout the Russian Federation as part of the program of the joint project "Reform of the Russian Judicial System," under the joint auspices of the Constitutional and Legislative Policy Institute ( Budapest) and the Centre for Constitutional Research of the Moscow Public Science Foundation. Surveys were distributed to a meeting of the chairmen of the regional councils of judges, to a regional meeting of district court judges, and, most importantly, by mail for distribution by the chairmen of regional councils of judges to judges within their regions. Of the approximately 2,000 blank forms that were handed out, we received 321 completed questionnaires.

Although the distribution did not produce a random sample of judges across the Russian Federation, the characteristics of those that were completed give us confidence in the representativeness of our findings. Slightly more than half of the respondents were women (52.3%); slightly more than half had received legal education by correspondence or part-time (53.0%); about one quarter work as chairmen of (district) courts (the rest as judges mainly at district courts, but around twenty at regional courts). The respondents also cover the full gamut of experience as judges, ranging from persons who had worked only four years (25.5%) to veterans with more then fifteen years experience (26.2%), including at more than twenty years (10.7%); the median judge, however, had eight years experience. It is clear from the written comments, the occasional self-identifications, and the envelopes that reached us that the respondents hailed from many parts of the Russian Federation, and represented not only large cities but smaller towns and rural districts as well. In short, we can assert with confidence that the characteristics of our sample came close to those of the judicial corps as a whole.

Here we reproduce a selection of questions, especially those that produced results that we report in the body of this study.

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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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