In a new policy memo titled “Legal Norms on Forced Breach of Contract (Force Majeure): a study of enforcement by State Commercial Courts” IRL researchers study how Russian commercial courts tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. We found 4161 cases considering this issue of non-performance due to force majeure from the universe of all rulings in March 2020 — October 2021. We then focused our analysis on cases related to the impossibility of fulfilling obligations under loan and credit agreements in disputes with banks, as well as in disputes of organizations affected by the pandemic.
This memo suggestes summary of the study which examines the previously unexplored form of social support that inmates enjoy: money transfers. We study the distance decay of financial support of prisoners. Drawing on proprietary data from a Russian prison tech company, we explore the universe of money transfers to any penal facility in Russia in 2017–19. To estimate the distance effect we build a gravity model of remittance flows from 1,117 cities to 931 penal facilities. The features of Russian penal geography reflect on the volume, frequency, and direction of transfers received by inmates. The gravity model of remittances suggests a pronounced distance decay. Correctional facilities closest to the sender city (0...144 km away, 1st percentile of pairwise distance) receive almost 10 times more funds than the facilities located 9,789...13,625 km away from the senders (the 99th percentile).
Read more in the article preprint «Prisoner social ties, money transfers, and sender-recipient distance: Evidence from Russia (in English)
Text is availiable by the link (in Russian).
We present a policy memo “Same Point of Law”: Citations of [Precedent] Cases in Commercial Courts". We examined 6.9 million texts of rulings of state commercial (“arbitrazh”) courts to identify references to judicial law-making: legal positions set forth by courts in similar cases. Some findings from this study:
Ekaterina Khodzhaeva has prepared an overview of the official statistics on jury trials held in regional and district courts. The main trends in 2018-2020 are:
- jurors acquit almost one third of defendants in district courts;
- but regional courts reverse three among five acquttals granted by juries.
More details are publlished here in Russian.
The text discusses the basic principles of the organization of prison medicine in several countries: Russia, the USA, Scotland, the Netherlands, and France. In the United States, treatment for prisoners is partly provided by private medical organizations. Prisoners in Scotland and France receive medical care from civilian medical institutions. In the Netherlands and Russia, by contrast, prison medicine is subordinate to the penal systems. The review is intended for public administration specialists, researchers of prison systems, and human rights advocates.
The IRL assessed several state relief program expansion scenarios during the Pandemic. We based our estimation on firm registration data, staff employment, and financials for 2018–2019. Full text (in Russian)
The IRL presents policy memo: a study of lexical and syntactic complexity metrics of 880 thousand texts of decisions of arbitration courts of the Russian Federation in cases involving large businesses (from 10 billion rubles in revenue in 2016).
The IRL published a report by Aryna Dzmitryieva and Denis Saveliev "The Sources of Judiciary in Russia and the Role of Court Apparatus". The paper analyzes the professional and social structure of judicial personnel and identifies the main mechanisms of appointment to judicial positions. Analysis of the opinions of qualification boards of judges and other data sources shows that in recent years the number of applicants for judicial posts has been decreasing, as well as their diversity. The paper shows that the function of decision-making on the selection of judicial personnel has actually shifted to the level of court chairpersons, and the CCs only occasionally show autonomy. The ideal judicial candidate is not an independent and authoritative expert in the relevant field of law, but an executive and hard-working member of the court apparatus. Full text (in Russian)