Lawyers often play pivotal roles in building democracies. Pamela Jordan's engaging study of the Russian bar (advokatura) provides a richly textured portrait of how, after the USSR's collapse, practising lawyers called advocates began to assume new, self-defined roles as contributors to legal reform and defenders of rights in Russia.Using the historical institutionalism approach as her analytical framework and drawing from comparative literature on legal professions, Jordan argues that the post-Soviet advokatura as an institution gained more, although not complete, autonomy from the state as it struggled to redefine itself as a profession. Jordan suggests that advocates' work is supporting the growth of civil society and the strengthening of human rights in Russia.Defending Rights in Russia concludes that, in a measured way advocates redistributed social and political power, by means of their role as intermediary actors between state and societal forces. However, she also warns that such gains could be reversed if the Putin regime continues to flout due process rights.
Pamela A. Jordan is an assistant professor in theDepartment of History at the University of Saskatchewan.
Acknowledgments Abbreviations Introduction 1. The Russian and Soviet Bars: A Historical Perspective,1864-1984 2. The Advokatura in the Gorbachev Period, 1985-91 3. Chaos in the Advokatura, 1992-2002 4. Autonomy and Dependence: State-Bar Relations in the 1990s 5. Restructuring the Advokatura from Above, 2002-3 6. Russian Criminal Defence Advocacy in the Post-Soviet Era 7. New Trends in Advocates' Practice in the Civil Sphere Conclusion Appendices 1 Surveys of Advocates' Opinions / 2 Stages of a Russian Criminal Case / Notes / Selected Bibliography / Index /