Judges forbidden to copy

Judges forbidden to copy

Now, it is pointless for investigators to carry USB sticks with the indictment which then becomes a part of a verdict to courts.

Judges now will have to write sentences "from scratch", and not to copy texts typed by the investigators in the indictments to their own computers. This follows directly from the draft decree, discussed on Thursday at the plenum of the Supreme Court of Russia.

The Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court, the Chairman of the judicial board on criminal cases, Vladimir Davydov specifically focused on paragraph 8 of the draft, which says: "Pay the courts’ attention on the inadmissibility of the statements in the judgment, without taking into account results of the trial, evidences of persons questioned in a criminal case, conclusions of experts and other information in exactly the way it is reflected in the indictment or a prior adjudication."

Although the draft resolution has been sent to the drafting committee for improvement because of the proposals of the General Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Justice to specify a number of provisions of the document, none of the authorities had any objections regarding the paragraph 12, and, apparently, in the final version of the decree, it will remain exactly as in which it was registered.

The problem of flash-sentences in judicial practice appeared a long time ago: it is no secret that the investigation together with the printed and signed indictment sends judges the USB-sticks with texts as well. And it is from these flash drives the judges are often copy the huge pieces of the texts to their sentences, together with grammatical and stylistic errors.

For example, in the sentence on the postal case against Oleg and Alexey Navalnys, given on December 30, 2014 by the Zamoskvoretsky District Court of Moscow judge Elena Korobchenko, of the 234 pages of the judgment 195 are partially or completely coincide with the indictment prepared by the investigator Roman Nesterov. Nevertheless, the verdict begins with the words "In the name of the Russian Federation ..." instead of "On behalf of the investigator for particularly important cases..."

If on such a resonant case, the court did not hesitate to copy, then we can only guess what the situation is like on a much more everyday trials. Although in fairness it is to be said that there are officials who do not guess but know exactly. The Chairman of the Moscow City Court Olga Yegorova, for example. Eight years ago, in February 2008, making a report at the annual meeting of the municipal judges, Yegorova has convicted colleagues "in copying charges from prosecutors." She said that the judges abused the use of "technical means" and giving sentences scan pieces of convictions, not even bothering with correcting grammatical errors.

Do you read your verdicts at all? - Yegorova asked the Moscow judges. The judges kept silent guiltily.

But, as shown by the same verdict against the Navalny brothers, they continued to copy the final investigation documents. However, nobody already was bothering scanning: the progress since 2008 got to the courts as well – why load the judge assistants with monotonous work when you can copy the text from a flash drive.

And now, in the Supreme Court of Russia, they apparently realized that dragging the whole pages of indictments to sentences (not quoted in the form of quotations, but in the form of alleged reasoning and conclusions of the judge) violates a the basic constitutional principle of justice – the independence of judges. Because independence is when the judge himself, without any help writes the sentence, not copies it.

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