Medvedev: No Independent Judiciary in Russia

Femida with open eyes. Source: moscowwalks.ruRussian President Dmitri Medvedev has admitted that Russia is far from having an independent judiciary, and that judges commonly encounter pressure in the courtroom. RIA Novosti reported the story on July 15th.

“As before, we must take all necessary means to strengthen the independence of judges,” Medvedev said, speaking at a conference on developing the judicial system. “It would seem that existing legislation should provide for it. However, it goes without saying that pressure and influence occurs, that administrative leverage is applied, that direct bribery is often used.”

According to Medvedev, steps must be taken to find new regulatory mechanisms to raise the level of judicial independence.

Earlier, Medvedev said that future legal professionals were being poorly prepared by the educational system, and insisted that order be brought to the process. “Cadres are an important topic for the judicial system,” he said, explaining that “weak law schools” lead to “corresponding specialists.” “It is plain fact that these people then decide the fates of other people.”

Medvedev, a former lawyer, has made battling corruption and reforming Russia’s legal system one of his major priorities in office.