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Article

Judicial Alignment and Criminal Justice: Evidence from Russian Courts.

Post-Soviet Affairs. 2014. No. 30(2-3). P. 137-170.
Libman A., Schultz A., Kozlov V.

This paper investigates the effect of informal ties between judges (as represented by regional court chairpersons) and prosecutors on the repressive implementation of criminal justice in Russia in the area of fraud convictions. The authors utilize criminal law statistics of Russian regional courts for 2006–2010 to determine the alignment between chairpersons and prosecutors by measuring the length of their mutual career paths. The informal ties have a strong impact on trial outcome, which, however, changes over time. During periods of high bureaucratic risks and uncertainty, regions with a higher extent of informal ties between judges and prosecutors exhibit more repressive law enforcement. If external risks decrease, informal coalitions seem to increase the independence of the courts, insulating them from bureaucratic pressures and limiting their repressiveness.