The Unsung Heros of the Russian Judicial System: The Justice-of-the-Peace Courts
Journal of Eurasian Law, Volume 5, No. 337 (2012)
31 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2012 Last revised: 22 Jan 2014
Date Written: December 28, 2012
Over the past few decade, Russians have been using the courts in ever greater numbers. In an effort to cope with the avalanche of cases, policy makers introduced a new layer of courts 'the justice-of-the-peace courts' (JP courts). These courts handle simple cases of all stripes. By 2011, after only a decade of existence, they dealt with 75 percent of all civil cases, 95 percent of all administrative cases and almost half of all criminal cases. Despite their critical role within the Russian judicial system, we know little about how they work. This article begins to fill that gap. Relying on unpublished caseload data and fieldwork in Russia from 2010-12, the author analyzes the docket of the JP courts, highlighting regional variations in workload and the use of a variety of procedural tools to accelerate the process. The article reveals that private plaintiffs have a better track record than the state, belying the common wisdom of the omniscient Russian state.
Keywords: Courts, Judicial Behavior, Plea Bargaining, Russia, Transition
JEL Classification: K41, O17, P37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation