When I traveled to Russia in 2007 and met with court officials there, some courts were experimenting with posting their decisions on the Web. Beginning this week, what was formerly the exception will become the rule, as most Russian court rulings will be published online in their entirety, The Moscow Times reports. The change is the result [...]
TAG | Russia
It was a year ago tomorrow that I left for my trip to Russia. A year later, the trip stands out as one of the most memorable events of my life. After I returned, I gave a presentation in Boston on Russian courts and the news media. I have converted that presentation to Flash and posted it here, should anyone be interested in viewing it. I have also posted my photos of Russia, taken in Moscow and the Siberian city of Tomsk. Below is a photo of Tomsk’s famous Chekhov statue.
Earlier this month, in anticipation of my trip to Russia, I asked here whether anyone knew of legal bloggers in Russia. No one did, apparently. While there last week, I investigated this question for myself, and likewise came up empty-handed.
My investigation consisted of asking everyone I could. I was hampered by the fact that our translators had never heard the word “blog” and their attempts to convey the concept often seemed to meet only blank stares. Still, I was able to speak with a handful of English-speaking Russian lawyers, law students and journalists about the topic.
On my flight to Russia from New York, I had the good fortune to meet Alexander Christophoroff, a Moscow patent lawyer. He was well-acquainted with the concept of blogging and familiar with some U.S. legal blogs, but could identify no Russian legal bloggers.
On our first day there, we met with a group of local reporters together with law students and journalism students. I asked the group as a whole about blogs and here is where I met my first set of blank stares. Later, however, a radio reporter from the audience approached me. He was fluent in English and had recently spent time in the U.S. He said that blogging in Russia so far is pretty much limited to the more personal, journal-like form more commonly found on sites such as LiveJournal and MySpace. He was aware of no Russian blogs either specifically focused on law or more generally used for news and social or political commentary.
Another day, we met with another group of students (pictured above) from the Law Institute at Tomsk State University, many of whom had studied English. Again, I asked several about blogs. Again, none were aware of legal blogs.
No doubt, my inquiry is hampered by my inability to speak or read Russian. Search Google for “Russian blog,” and a number of results come up. Search for “Russian legal blog,” and the top result I get is my own post asking about them. If I search Russian Google, I get mostly U.S. blogs as results.
So from this admittedly unscientific survey, I have been unable to find any Russian legal blogs. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know.
For someone who grew up during an era when our collective image of Russia was based on grainy black-and-white photos of May Day military parades in Moscow’s Red Square, my trip to Russia this week was eye-opening. Our destination was the Siberian city of Tomsk and our focus was media and the courts. I learned much about the Russian courts and the Russian media, and I hope I left some knowledge behind as well. I will blog more about the visit after I recover from the long trip home. For now, here is a photo taken during my presentation to judges, lawyers and media representatives at the Tomsk Oblast Court.