criminal procedure, legal transplants, democratization in Russia


The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the Russian culture and citizens' perceived fairness of the new Criminal Procedural Code of Russia of 2001 (CPC of 2001). The CPC of 2001 is a key policy in the Russian criminal law reform with the purpose of implementing adversarial procedure elements in Russia. The existing literature has documented the lack of public support along with observed violations of the CPC's major provisions which as made this an important area for study. It is theorized that the apparent contradiction between the underlying values of the Russian culture, and CPC's adversarial procedure that reflects anti-cultural values, are responsible for the lack of substantial public support and acceptance of the CPC of 2001. The theory of motivational values developed by Schwartz (1990) is used as a framework to examine the Russian culture. Damaska's (1986) theory of procedural models is used to examine the adversarial elements of the new CPC of 2001. The group value theory of fairness is employed to examine the relationships between Russian cultural values and the public opinion about the criminal procedural law (Lind & Tyler, 1988). The study used a multi-stage stratified random sample of 1,588 Russian residents to explore the relationship between the culture and the perceived fairness of the CPC of 2001. The sample is representative of the Russian Federation population. The data is analyzed through four structural-equation models, a set of non-parametric tests, and descriptive statistical analysis. The findings of this thesis confirmed that cultural values in Russia are predominantly collective. On average, 69% of Russian respondents reported that collective values play a very important role in their life. The type of prevailing values was dependent on the demographic characteristics of the sample: age, gender, place of residence, level of education, marital status, and household income. It was found that the majority of Russian citizens believe that the inquisitional criminal procedure is an ideal of fair law. On average, 72% supported the inquisitorial procedural model in Russia. Unlike the adversarial procedure, the inquisitorial procedural model is not based on competition between the equal parties of prosecution and defense. Instead, it is viewed as a cooperative process between the judge, prosecutor and defense in their inquiry into the circumstances of the case. The adversarial procedural model was not supported by most citizens. Only 33.5% reported that the adversarial procedural model can be considered fair. The study corroborated that the new CPC was not fully supported by the majority of respondents. An average of 27.5% of respondents in Russia reported that the CPC of 2001 is a fair law, in comparison to 72.5% who think that the CPC of 2001 is unfair. The findings validated that the CPC of 2001's inclusion of adversarial procedural elements contradict key values of the contemporary Russian culture. It is concluded that the CPC of 2001 should be reformed to facilitate citizen acceptance. Greater acceptance will support the attempt to advance the democratization of the criminal process through increased civil rights while simultaneously enhancing positive social control. It is proposed that the planned policy reforms that contain additional elements of the adversarial criminal procedure be introduced in a phased manner. It is also recommended that the adversarial procedure values should be publicized through public awareness educational programs. The data analysis also suggests that confounding factors such as citizen distrust of the criminal justice institutions can contribute to problems associated with acceptance of the criminal law reform. The research model developed for this study can be used to examine policies related to criminal law reform in other former Soviet Union countries.


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Graduation Date





Reynolds, K. Michael


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Degree Program

Public Affairs








Release Date

December 2007

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)