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Analysis of Russian Judicial System


Every country has its own law administration arm for overseeing the fair use of the laws of the land by its citizens. The laws govern among other things, the people’s co-existence, property ownership and life at large, including wildlife (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). In the pursuit of effectiveness, application and enforcement of the law have to work for hand in hand thus giving rise to two distinct segments. The wide scope of coverage to grass root level dictates that every country should have well-structured organs in place to act as a medium of law application. The element of fairness embeds itself on the law to ensure the full exploration of all justice channels before the final verdict. Every individual under the law is granted ample room to exercise and receive justice under all circumstances, and it usually happens in countries that do not uphold prejudicial judgments. The aspect of extending the right of justice applies to all individuals draws its power from the main sources of law that include the constitution, legislature, customary law and judicial precedents (Dammer & Albanese, 2013).

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Evaluation of Judicial system and criminal justice application

Judicial systems refer to the court’s hierarchy in the application of law and justice in the country (Dammer & Albanese, 2013). The courts mainly interpret the law; they do not participate in its making. At some point, the application of the law can be based on past court rulings but it does not amount to creating special or new law. Courts can stop any application of the law that is not consistent with the main sources of law. The courts depend on references to the already made laws. Two major segments that exist in any legal structure are civil and criminal law platforms. The civil platform focuses on the application of the law of torts that occur between two or more parties where the state is not a party to the misdemeanor thus defining substantive law. On the other hand, the criminal platform circles around matters that expressly affect the state and the individual thus representing procedural law (Vereshchagin, 2007).

The civil and criminal law platforms partially define the reason behind the court hierarchy in the administration of law Vereshchagin, 2007). Precisely, this is because, in any country, there are other governance issues that also qualify to be sorted out in courts according to the procedural law and their allotment to the various court levels depends on the sensitivity of the issue at hand. The said platforms usually hold the largest proportion of courts’ business. they can therefore be used to expound the judicial system. The need to solve cases at different court levels, which is according to the nature of the cases, has seen many countries come up with different judicial systems. An analytical look can relate to the systems since the court-level names are the only aspect that varies from one country to another. Many judicial systems regard a supreme court as the final decision maker in all matters that are law-related. However, in other regions, there are other bodies vested with making a final verdict (Vereshchagin, 2007).

The criminal justice system in Russia

The Judicial system in Russia comprises the Supreme Court which holds the highest rank followed by peace justice courts and lastly regional and district courts (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009). In addition, there are constitutional and arbitration courts. The Russian ministry of justice, under the umbrella of the Russian federal government also oversees the criminal justice system in the country. The ministry of internal affairs also engages in the judicial system where it has the responsibility of overseeing the law enforcement and prison system. In Russia, murder is a criminal offense that attracts the death penalty. Other murder categories are exempted from the death penalty where the penalties include up to 20 years of prison life. These include accident killing, genocide, terrorism, and murder of a newly born baby by its mother (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009).

In addressing the aspect of specificity, the Russian judicial system seeks to disintegrate matters that it addresses with reference to murder charges. The element of ambiguity is well addressed and done with thus considering the intensity with which a crime is committed. The federal constitution stands to be the weight of which all other laws are measured and any law found to be contradicting is annulled. It denotes uniformity applied in Russia’s judicial system, which means that there are standards set that are used for reference by all other law applications and enforcement agencies (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009). Russia applies penal sanctions that are in line with countries constitution, federal laws, and laws of subjects (Vereschagin, 2007). Judicial precedents also play a pivotal role in administering penal sanctions. These three groups of crimes namely, drug offenses, legal classification, and criminal responsibility age are part of the administration of the penal sanctions (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009).

In the case of murder, the intention to kill amounts to murder and it attracts the same penalty as committing the real act of murder (Vereshchagin, 2007). This translates to the application of men’s rea in the Russian judicial system where the law is interpreted to include the aspect of a guilty mind while committing a guilty act. Actus reus substantiates the passing of a judicial sentence since it represents that guilty action committed and the penal sanctions are administered according to the specificity of the guilty acts. Application of the law in Russia follows a cause and effect model and a penal sanction for murder represents an ideal example (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009).

The penalties awarded for murder vary according to the causation since a penalty awarded for genocide murder is different from one that is awarded for killing a hostage. The motive behind committing the murder greatly influences the passing of a judicial sentence. In order to substantiate a crime, there must be a harmed party either impliedly or expressly. The existence of harm provides a ground to stand on (locus standi) in the administration of law since the absence of such may be taken to mean that a crime did not happen. Harm verification is among the initial stages of collecting evidence (corpus delicti) which stands for crimes’ material substance (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009).

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The control model adopted by Russia in dealing with crimes such as murder includes the application of various crime codes such as criminal procedure and criminal execution codes (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009). In addition, the existence of reforming and educational labor institutions together with prisons ensures that corrective measures are administered. The militia acts also exist to enforce the law thus forming a constituent of the control model. Different bodies such as the drugs control constant committee assist the government with substantiating the law thus enhancing a due process model. This model draws lines on the authorized conducts and illegal actions in the public domain. The various sources of law as applied in Socialist, Islamic, Common and Civil legal systems determines the application of substantive and procedural legal practices in the respective countries where the legal systems apply (Burnham, Danilenko & Maggs, 2009).


Like any other country, Russia has a judicial system that is meant to govern the application of the law within the country. Its judicial system is comprised of the supreme court, justice courts, and regional and district courts. The constitution acts as the ultimate guide under which all the legislations in the country must abide by. Any law that does not abide by it is inapplicable particularly because the courts will not uphold it. The intention to commit a crime is treated as a crime in the country because the country subscribes to the notion of a guilty mind. It can be concluded that the judicial system in the country has undergone significant reforms to be in line with international best practices.


Burnham, W., Danilenko, G., & Maggs, P. (2009). Law and Legal System of the Russian Federation (4th ed.). New York: Juris.

Dammer, H., & Albanese, J. (2013). Comparative Criminal Justice Systems. Belmonte: Cengage Learning.

Vereshchagin, A. (2007). Judicial Law-Making in Post-Soviet Russia. New York: Rutledge-Cavendish.

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