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Selection of Jurors and Lay Assessors in Comparative Perspective: Eurasian Context

https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2014-2-2-9-62

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Abstract

This article compares (1) the qualification of jurors or lay assessors; (2) methods of listing candidates for lay adjudication; and (3) selection and empanelment of jurors and lay assessors for a particular case, in various post-Soviet countries and Western countries. Two key issues are examined. The article examines whether the legislation of post-Soviet countries in relation to the qualification, listing and empanelling of jurors and lay assessors is consistent with the standards applied in developed democracies. Simultaneously, the article explores what standards and rules of selection of lay adjudicators should be incorporated into the legislation of post-Soviet states in order to insure impartiality and independence of lay adjudicators. The article reveals a significant number of defects and gaps that allow executives and court personnel to manipulate the selection process and hamper the formation of impartial, independent and representative lay courts. An examination of the legislation in post-Soviet countries and of the empirical data collected in Russia lead to the conclusion that the mechanisms of the voir dire, peremptory challenges and challenges to entire juries should be reviewed and improved in order to provide reliable safeguards for the selection of impartial and independent lay adjudicators and prevent parties from excluding prospective lay adjudicators for discriminatory reasons.

About the Author

Nikolai Kovalev
Wilfrid Laurier University
Canada
Associate Professor of Criminology at Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Criminology (171 Colborne str., Brantford, Ontario, N3T 6C9, Canada)


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For citation:


Kovalev N. Selection of Jurors and Lay Assessors in Comparative Perspective: Eurasian Context Russian Law Journal. 2014;2(2):9-62. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2014-2-2-9-62

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