maslovskaya, elena

Competition in the Juridical Field: The Case of Russia

Bourdieu's theory of the juridical field that explains the processes of competition within this field and also takes into account the influence of social, economic and political forces on legal actors can be applied to transformations of the legal institutions in post-communist Russia. By the beginning of the 1990s changing juridical needs resulted in emergence of various organisational structures, individual and institutional agents of the juridical field. The conflict of competences of the old and new agents of this field and competition between them for redistribution of the economic and symbolic capital increased. Russian advocates tried to emphasise their professional autonomy but they were mostly seeking to defend their professional interests and demonstrated insufficient social and political involvement. Despite the creation of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers in 2003 the advocates' community mostly remained fragmented.

In the 1990s the judicial system in Russia was characterised by competition on the issues of jurisdiction between various institutional agents, differentiation of the forms of juridical practice, the development of representative bodies and judicial self-government. This was accompanied by emergence of interest-groups and growth of professional stratification. One of the aspects which was supposed to increase competition in this sphere was introduction of the jury trial. Nevertheless, the institution of jury trial was gradually subordinated to the established judicial practices. In the 2000s forms and methods of competition that were regulated not by professional but by bureaucratic norms prevailed in the judicial system. At the same time instrumental use of the judicial system by the Russian state became more widespread. This paper analyses the emergence of new forms of competition in different sectors of the juridical field and the limitations of competition as well as the reversal of some competitive trends.

Wednesday 24 October 14:30-16:30 Panels I, Panel 3 Competition and Democracy I (Hall 15)