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Justice in Suspended Animation

It’s remarkable how often I come across stories from other lawyers working in faraway foreign jurisdictions, sharing tales of frustration and disbelief over the lack of due process and independence of the courts, and finding myself face-to-face with a rather precise description of the current conditions for political cases inside Russia.

Such was the case earlier today, when I was speaking with a talented Latin American lawyer who has more than a few years experience working in quite difficult political environments (his name and his country shall remain anonymous – but this is irrelevant to the point).

When I asked him about the latest status of a case, and what could be expected next in upcoming proceedings, he sighed, and shared the following observation:  “Bobby, you see, in my country we have ourselves a vacuum of power combined with a total lack of judicial independence.  So when the judges and the prosecutors don’t know where to look for “answers,” cases get indefinitely delayed.

Call it justice in suspended animation – what happens in authoritarian states once the mandate of its leaders becomes fractured.  Does this colleague’s story remind you of any other cases in Russia?