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Everyday Law in Russia$
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Kathryn Hendley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705243

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705243.001.0001

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The View from the Benches of the Justice-of-the-Peace Courts

The View from the Benches of the Justice-of-the-Peace Courts

(p.134) 4 The View from the Benches of the Justice-of-the-Peace Courts
Everyday Law in Russia

Kathryn Hendley

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how judges at Russia's busiest set of courts, the justice-of-the-peace courts (JP courts or mirovye sudy), see themselves and their role. When ordinary Russians are unable to resolve simple problems on their own, the JP courts represent their port of entry into the legal system. For them, the justices of the peace (JPs) are the face of the legal system. JPs often find themselves in an awkward position as they seek to balance justice and efficiency. Their behavior provides an intriguing lens into the contemporary Russian judicial system. The chapter first explains how the JP courts fit into the larger Russian judicial system and how they have evolved over their relatively short life. It then considers how one becomes a JP and what sort of people tend to become JPs. It also describes the day-to-day reality of life for JPs, with particular emphasis on their caseloads as well as the key challenges facing them and their responses to such challenges. Finally, it looks at the self-images of JPs.

Keywords:   justice-of-the-peace courts, Russia, legal system, justices of the peace, justice, judicial system, self-image, caseloads

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