Human Rights in Russia week-ending 10 December 2021 - with Sergei Pashin

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Today is a special day: 10 December - Human Rights Day, and our best wishes to all who are listening! This week our guest on the podcast is Sergei Anatolievich Pashin, a retired Russian federal judge, Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group.

The topics discussed on the podcast include the reform of the justice system in Russia, trial by jury, and whether there is a fair judicial system in the country.

The questions we ask include:

1) Is the judiciary an independent and autonomous branch of state power in Russia? To what extent did the judicial reforms of the nineties achieve their goals?

2) Is it likely that with a critical mass of unjust verdicts, society will explode? Or will irregularities and violations always be tolerated?

3) You were one of those who initiated and supported the introduction of jury trials. What has been the fate of its enforcement?

4) Recently the head of the Investigative Committee Aleksandr Bastrykin, speaking at Moscow Legal Week said: "From the idea of 'the individual as the highest value, which has above all rights', we should return to the classical understanding of the individual as the subject of a set of rights and duties. Why is there such a stress on duties all the time?

5) What are the prospects for fair justice in the Russian Federation?

This podcast is in Russian. You can also listen to the podcast on our website or on SoundCloud, Podcasts.com, Spotify, iTunes and Anchor. The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: “In many respects, the fairness of the justice system is a private matter, a matter of individual decent judges, decent investigators (there are such investigators, I knew them), and decent policemen (there are such people, too). That is, in any system there are decent people. But it is another thing that they can be discouraged from practicing justice,” said Sergei Anatolievich Pashin. About this, and much more, Simon Cosgrove and I talked with Sergei Pashin in our podcast. We were very lucky that Sergei Pashin was able to give an hour of his time to talk to us. Everyone knows that Pashin is a retired federal judge, one of the initiators of jury trials in Russia, an Honoured Lawyer of the Russian Federation, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), author of the 1991 Constitutional Court Act, and a very busy man. Since 2008, Pashin has been teaching at the Law Department of the Higher School of Economics. Or rather, alas, it’s now necessary to say – was teaching. At the end of November 2021 Pashin suddenly received notice of dismissal and from 24 December he will cease to be an employee of this educational institution: the university terminated contracts with two professors of the Faculty of Law - Sergei Pashin and Gennady Esakov. From 2011 to 2021 the students of the HSE recognized Sergei Pashin every year as the best lecturer - and deservedly so. It was extremely interesting talking with Sergei Anatolievich, as you can judge for yourself.

Simon Cosgrove adds: ‘For further information about the past week in Russia, visit our website here.’

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