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A new adversary system of jury trial was introduced in 1993-1994, and the rights to jury trial, adversary procedure, the presumption of innocence, and the mandatory exclusion of illegally gathered evidence were incorporated into the new Constitution of the Russian Federation in December of 1993. The new Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, passed in December 2001, led to the extension of jury trial to the entire country with the exception of the Republic of Chechnia in 2003-2004.

This chapter explores the extent to which the Russian jury system and adversary procedure have humanized criminal procedure, and concludes that the ambitious reforms look more and more like democratic window-dressing for a system that is continuing to function as it did in Soviet times. This chapter also suggests some reforms that could save the institution from becoming a cynical “decoration” of an otherwise authoritarian Soviet-style criminal justice system.