Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies: A Study of Courts in Russia and Ukraine
Why are independent courts rarely found in emerging democracies? This book moves beyond familiar obstacles, such as an inhospitable legal legacy and formal institutions that expose judges to political pressure. It proposes a strategic pressure theory, which claims that in emerging democracies, political competition eggs on rather than restrains power-hungry politicians. Incumbents who are losing their grip on power try to use the courts to hang on, which leads to the politicization of justice. The analysis uses four original datasets, containing 1,000 decisions by Russian and Ukrainian lower courts from 1998 to 2004 in two politically salient types of cases - electoral registration disputes and defamation lawsuits against media outlets - as well as data from interviews with judges, lawyers, litigants, and judicial administrators. The main finding is that justice is politicized in both countries, but in the more competitive regime (Ukraine) incumbents leaned more forcefully on the courts and obtained more favorable rulings.
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1 What Is Judicial Independence?
2 Judges and Politicians
3 What Can a Focused Comparison of Russia and Ukraine Tell Us about the Origins of Independent Courts?
4 The Role of Ukrainian and Russian Courts in the Provision of Free and Fair Elections
5 The Role of Ukrainian and Russian Courts in the Provision of Press Freedom
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actors administrative resources analysis argue authoritarian behavior campaign candidate’s chapter consolidated democracies Constitution of Ukraine countries court chair criminal defamation defamation lawsuits democratic deputy deregistered district court Duma electoral law electoral registration disputes emerging democracies Fedur impose their preferences incumbent politicians independence from politicians independent courts interviews judicial decision judicial independence judiciary KPRF Kuchma regime Kyiv lDPR level of judicial litigants media outlets Novaya Gazeta ofjudicial oflaw ofthe oligarchs opposition candidates opposition-affiliated oppositionists Orange Revolution party percent plaintiffs political affiliation politicized post-Soviet predictions president pressuring the courts progovernment candidates propresidential Putin Qualification Commission Rada regional result rule of law Russia and Ukraine Russian and Ukrainian Russian Federation Skuratov strategic pressure theory structural insulation Supreme Court telephone law tion trial outcomes Tymoshenko Ukraine’s Ukrainian courts Ukrainian presidential elections United Russia variables Vasilenko victory Viktor Viktor Yanukovych vote weak incumbents win-rate Yabloko Zamkovenko