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In particular, the article will analyze two high-profile cases which resulted in acquittals of Russian officers accused of killing several Chechen civilians during counter-terrorist operations in Chechnya.Russian military courts constitute a separate system which is different from ordinary courts in several respects.It is emphasized in this section that in the past the Russian government often restricted the power of lay judges to participate in adjudication of military crimes.The second part proceeds with the discussion on how civilian juries function in contemporary Russian military courts.At the same time, qualification requirements for temporary members of Army-District and Naval Courts were much higher than for judges in regimental and equipage courts.
It is the right to a jury trial for certain criminal cases.
In particular, it provides a critical analysis of the most recent decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation which suspended trial by jury in military courts in certain criminal cases.
It is argued in the analysis that trial by jury should be made available to all military defendants.
Russia is probably the only jurisdiction in the world which allows a jury of civilians to try criminal cases in military courts.
Even in countries with matured jury systems, such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, military personnel have no right to a jury of civilians.Before the judgement of the regimental or equipage court came into force it had to be ratified by the commander of the regiment or equipage.