President-elect Dmitry Medvedev seems to be saying all the right things. ITAR-TASS is reporting a very positive speech he gave at the 85th anniversary of the Supreme Court today, in which he argued that legal nihilism is a major brake on Russia’s development. He said that respect for law has to have historical roots, and that “all possible ways must be used for the legal enlightenment and education of the people – from studies of the basics of law in schools and colleges to the publication of popular legal literature and the capabilities of television and radio broadcasting.” And yesterday Reuters quotes him advocating a policy oversight role for civil society: “Our task is to create a system that would allow civic structures to participate in working out state policy and appraising its quality. … The voice of such groups should be heard in our society. … There should be a practical mechanism for defending their rights and interests. Only in this way can our society become truly harmonious.” Now it’s all about holding him to his words.