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Title: Perceptions of institutions of justice : comparative study in English and Russian lower courts
Author: Andrianova, Varvara
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 6518
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation examines how ordinary people in England and Russia form their perceptions of legal institutions in their experiences with lower courts. This work is based on a qualitative study involving interviews and observations in county and magistrates' courts in England and courts of Justices of the Peace in Russia, a number of focus groups with the court users and the judges, as well as a variety of secondary sources. The goal of this study is to investigate the inner workings of the English and Russian legal cultures through the analysis of stable attitudes towards legal institutions and their interplay with the people's perceptions of their individual experiences. My examination of these complex sets of ideas and images includes the analysis of people's preconceptions about institutions of justice, people's perceptions of administrative and procedural models, their interaction with court administration and legal professionals, and evaluations of the final outcomes of their cases. I argue that perceptions of legal institutions even at the lowest level are linked to the traditional images of courts in the Russian and English societies. The perceived position of legal institutions within the framework of the state, i.e. the level of their independence and impartiality, is one of the leading factors that shape people's long-standing attitudes of trust in legal institutions. The availability of administrative and procedural mechanisms that create and reinforce perceptions of transparency, equality, and reliability of legal institutions in people's everyday experiences contributes to the creation of stable attitudes of institutional trust. People’s perceptions of the English and Russian lower courts reflect how ordinary citizens see the law and the institutions of justice in their countries, and how they perceive their own ability to obtain justice with the use of official legal mechanisms. These perceptions reveal the underlying relationships between people, law, and legal institutions in different societies and, therefore, contribute to our understanding of legal cultures.
Supervisor: Kurkchiyan, Marina Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: legal institutions in Russia ; Russian legal culture ; legal consciousness in Russia ; trust towards legal institutions ; lower courts in Russia ; comparative legal cultures ; Russian courts ; comparative legal culture ; legal culture