Migrants from Post-Soviet States, the Russian Judicial System and the Role of Cultural Mediators
- Date: –17:00
- Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES) Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor, IRES Library
- Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
- Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
- Phone: 018 471 1630
with Dr. Elena Maslovskaya (Russian Academy of Sciences, St.-Petersburg)
The overall aim of this presentation is to discuss the nexus between legal environment, cultural mediators and migrants’ access to justice in today’s Russia. One of the persistent problems in the legal sphere in Russia is unequal access to justice for different social groups. Migrants from post-Soviet states as a socially marginalized group lack the relevant financial and cultural capital and thus they are in a particularly vulnerable position in the legal proceedings. In their interaction with Russian legal institutions migrants have to rely on cultural mediators such as lawyers specializing on migrant cases, legal interpreters and human rights NGOs members. The presentation aims to analyze the practices of legal interpreters influencing the “manufacture” of the case in pre-trial proceedings, trial hearings and appeals. The empirical base of the presented study is qualitative data from research of criminal and administrative trials in several Russian regions. The paper the seminar will be based on discusses the increased reliance on interpreters and the nature of their involvement in criminal justice proceedings in Russia. Special attention will be devoted to the roles of legal interpreters, stratification within that professional group, their formal and informal interactions with litigants and jurists. Professor Maslovskaya will analyze the models of behavior of legal interpreters and tactics they use within the juridical field. She will also consider the main characteristics of the field of foreign language interpretation services in the legal sphere in contemporary Russia.
Elena Maslovskaya, Doctor of Sciences (Sociology), is a Lead researcher and the head of the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at the Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St.-Petersburg. Her research interests include sociology of law, sociology of professions, functioning of Russian legal institutions, law enforcement, human rights NGOs, the access to justice for vulnerable groups. She has conducted research on transformations of the Russian judicial system, the juridical profession, interaction of human rights NGOs with Russian and European legal institutions and the role of forensic expert evidence in legal proceedings. Some of the findings were presented in her books Sociological Theories of Law and Analysis of Legal Institutions of Russian Society and Transformations of the Russian Judicial System (both in Russian). Her articles have appeared, among others, in such periodicals as Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya, Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial’noi antropologii, Mir Rossii and Uppsala Yearbook of Eurasian Studies. In August-September 2018 she was a visiting fellow at Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Her ongoing research project is devoted to migrants’ access to justice in today’s Russia with a special focus on the activities of cultural mediators such as court interpreters, human rights lawyers and NGOs members.