The article explores the process of gradual legislative encroachment on the constitutional right to be tried by jury in Russia that had started in 2008 when offenders accused of committing terrorist crimes were denied the right to opt for the jury. The objective is to show how the initial use of the security argument made possible further limitations of this right.
The research is based upon qualitative analysis of documents (drafts of legal bills, explanatory notes to the drafts, minutes of the Parliamentary hearings), decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and judges’ dissenting opinions, statements of public officials, media reports.
Jury trial that was once a cornerstone of the major judicial reform of the 1990-ies risks becoming a constitutional history artifact. The process of its curtailment came as a result of the inability of this institute to get adjusted to the realities of the Russian criminal process as well as of the need of the state to meet the challenges of the risk society. It is argued that the use of security argument allowed for the initial bill aimed at limiting this right for terrorists to be adopted swiftly and without much debate. It also opened the window of opportunity for further limitation of this right that came under vague agenda of victims’ protection and case review system reform. The author demonstrates that decisions of the Constitutional Court of Russia have played a significant role in promoting limitations of jury trials.
The approach used in the article can be applied to researching other cases of limiting citizens’ rights in the name of security.
The article represents an attempt to provide empirical evidence of the ‘security paradoxes’ described in the security literature.Keywords: trial by jury, comparative criminal justice, Russian criminal justice, security, human rights, fair trialPublished in DKUM: 16.04.2020; Views: 843; Downloads: 37 Full text (359,02 KB)This document has many files! More...