- In the Soviet era, the legal system generally catered to the needs of the state, and more specifically, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). While the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) displayed all the attributes of a typical legal system, judgments were often influenced by what was colloquially known as telephone law, that is, directives from Communist Party officials via the telephone. Frequent elections of judicial figures ensured that recalcitrant judges could easily be removed from office. Mikhail Gorbachev initiated reforms weakening the CPSU’s control over judges, gave them lifetime appointments, and instituted judicial review, thus creating an environment where the rule of law enjoyed greater levels of respect. However, the effects were moderate, and many citizens continued to distrust the judicial system. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin began a more far-reaching reform of the judiciary. Significant structural changes occurred in the wake of the 1992 Law on the Status of Judges. Further reforms followed with the passage of the 1993 Constitution of the Russian Federation. However, the low pay judges received and the failure to thoroughly implement the reforms precluded adherence to Western European norms.The abolition of the death penalty and institution of trials by jury (at least for certain types of cases) were both introduced in the mid1990s. However, the vast majority of cases continued to be tried by judges and “people’s assessors” (lay judges). In the mid-1990s, the conviction rate was extremely high compared to other countries, especially when the case was tried by a judge (99 percent) rather than a jury (80 percent). Legal reforms passed under Vladimir Putin in 2002 were meant to solidify the presumption of innocence in criminal cases, but the legal culture has changed little in recent years. The highly politicized case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky undermined confidence abroad that the system was improving. In 2008, Prosecutor General Yury Chayka admitted that thousands of Russians are unlawfully put on trial every year, costing the country millions. Administered by the Ministry of Justice, the Russian judicial system is divided between the regular court system (with the 23-member Supreme Court at its zenith), the arbitration court system (headed by the High Court of Arbitration), and the Constitutional Court (with no lower courts). During the early 2000s, the Constitutional Court oversaw a major harmonization of local and regional laws with federal statutes, thus undoing much of Yeltsin’s system of asymmetrical federalism. There are approximately 2,500 public courts in the country, with a total of 13,000 judges.
Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. Robert A. Saunders and Vlad Strukov. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
judicial system — noun the system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government • Syn: ↑judiciary, ↑judicature, ↑judicatory • Hypernyms: ↑system, ↑scheme • Hyponyms: ↑Fe … Useful english dictionary
Judicial system of Iran — قوه فضاییه جمهوری اسلامی ایران The main building of Judicial system of Iran in Tehran. Established 1979(modern) 1905(history) … Wikipedia
Judicial system of the People's Republic of China — For the Ministry of Justice, see Ministry of Justice of the People s Republic of China. People s Republic of China This article is part of the series: Politics and government of … Wikipedia
Judicial system of Singapore — Singapore This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Singapore Constitution Legislature … Wikipedia
Judicial system of Finland — Under the Constitution of Finland, everyone is entitled to have their case heard by a court or an authority appropriately and without undue delay. This is achieved through the judicial system of Finland.The Finnish judicial system consists of… … Wikipedia
Judicial system of Ukraine — The judicial system of Ukraine consists of four levels of courts of general jurisdiction, as follows:* Local courts of general jurisdiction (combining criminal and civil jurisdiction) consisting of: ** district, urban district and town courts; ** … Wikipedia
Judicial System of Peru — Peru This article is part of the series: Politics and government of Peru … Wikipedia
Judicial system of the Russian Empire — The judicial system of the Russian Empire was established as part of the system of government reforms of Peter the Great.Judicial system after 1864The judicial system of the Russian Empire, existed from the mid 19th century, was established by… … Wikipedia
Judicial system of Greece — In Greece, the independence of the justice system is safeguarded by the Constitution. According to section E of the Constitution (Articles 87 100A): * Only professional and regular judges dispense justice. These judges are professional, permanent … Wikipedia
Judicial system of Japan — In the judicial system of Japan, the postwar constitution guarantees that all judges shall be independent in the exercise of their conscience and shall be bound only by this constitution and the Laws (Article 76). They cannot be removed from the… … Wikipedia