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Regular version of the site

Article

The Judiciary of Post-Soviet Russia in Its Social Context

Social Sciences. 2019. Vol. 50. No. 4. P. 20-33.

This article contains an analysis of the judiciary of post-Soviet Russia in its social context. The study is based on opinion polls. The majority of Russians take a negative attitude to the judiciary. They have no respect for, or confidence in, their country’s judicial system. They believe that the court system is dependent on the other branches of government and is manipulated by political and economic actors. Judges are not seen as defenders of people’s rights and are considered to be corrupt, unjust, and inhumane. This is assumed to explain the accusatory nature of the Russian judiciary. The majority of Russian judges are vehicles of administrative bureaucratic professional subculture who have their entire professional conduct determined by superior authorities. The judicial system is controlled by court chairpersons who received their professional training and accumulated most of their experience in the Soviet period. The judicial branch of post-Soviet Russia has inherited major problems from the Soviet judicial system and is incapable of being an impartial arbiter and the conscience of the state.