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What's New in Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters with Russia since 2004?

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For more content, see Review of Socialist Law.

The present article examines what has happened in Russia in the field of legal cooperation in criminal matters since 2004. The retrospective approach has been chosen in order to update the article published in this Review in 2004 which included several recommendations for Russia to improve its system for international cooperation. The current work subjects these recommendations and developments in the area to a critical review.Since 2004, there have been no major innovations in Russian legislation regarding legal cooperation in criminal matters. Interestingly enough, Russia took a misstep, when it abolished the concept of confiscation in criminal law. The resolution of this experiment indicates that there has been some degree of improvement in the procedure concerning implementation of new treaties. As regards extradition cases, several difficulties were foreseen already in 2004 and, indeed, some of them have been realized—in particular, concerning those Russian requests for extradition that have political connotations. When it comes to institutional structures, the number of "Central Authorities" has not been reduced. The system is still highly centralized in Moscow. On the basis of the author's experience, the knowledge of international treaties and their application—to some extent—has increased among Russian practitioners.The author suggests continuing cooperation with Russia in various international fora as well as on a daily basis in handling concrete cross-border cases. In her opinion, legal assistance in criminal matters is a fairly narrow field of expertise and, therefore, a challenging "form of art" for any person involved.


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