The absence of the rule of law and the inefficiency of the judicial system continue to be features of the Russian Federation, highlighting previous authorities’ lack of will to improve the situation.
The judiciary has required extensive reform: action taken since 1991 has resulted today in dramatic achievements, such as a massive increase in budgetary support for the courts, a new code of criminal procedure and measures to enhance the accountability of judges.
However, legal structures and mechanisms are still poor. Many judges do not function in an independent manner and corruption and bribery remain rampant. Lawyers continue to be harassed in the exercise of their duties, being identified by the authorities with their clients’ cause.
Additionally, parliamentary elections in December 2003 and presidential elections in March 2004 have moved the country dangerously close to a one-party system. In Chechnya, the justice system is plagued by corruption, long and arduous procedures and threats against complainants.
Russian Federation-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications