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Informal Practices in Russian Justice: Probing the Limits of Post-Soviet Reform

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines and raises questions about two informal institutions in the world of judges and courts in the Russian Federation: the role of the chairs of courts; and the relationship between judges and procurators. In both instances, the starting point is formal institutions, but their impact is in turn modified, sometimes in counterproductive ways, by the informal practices. The chapter highlights that the role of chairs of courts in judicial discipline may undermine the principle of security of tenure embodied in the 1992 Law on the Status of Judges. On the other hand, the close relationship between judges and procurators has produced new informal practices that facilitate implementation of the new Criminal Procedure Code, while preserving the traditional function of trials as confirming guilt and applying punishment.

Keywords: criminal procedure code; informal practices; Procurators; Russian Justice; Russian Supreme Court



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