For me, court monitoring is valuable as a research process, a process of monitoring the activities of State institutions, a source of information about what is happening “behind closed doors” (the individual vs State). My interest is related to the low level of awareness of the activities about the courts, the low level of legal culture and the hyper-professional attitude towards the law. The openness of the proceedings, the free attendance of the trials, is a matter of concern not only to the participants in the proceedings, but also to the judges themselves – they are alarmed by the presence of the public, and the media are generally denied filming. I think that the very presence of observers in court is important for the transparency of trials. In the tradition of existentialism, I think that “under the eyes of the third” the attitude of the judge to the accused is changing.
Civilian control over the activities of the authorities, including the monitoring of trials, contributes to the improvement of the human rights situation. In my opinion, this mechanism not only provides information on the functioning of the judicial system and the right to a fair trial, It is also through the very presence of observers in judicial proceedings to promote greater openness and transparency in the work of the courts.
I am a lawyer, who started to participate in judicial monitoring by visiting the courts, then participated in the development of the court monitoring questionnaire, and currently I am analysing the responses of the observers. In monitoring, I am attracted to the moment when observers discuss what was going on in the courtroom: someone will notice what the other has not noticed, someone in the process of discussion will see for themselves or will convince the others that the process has been disrupted (or not). We all discuss it, draw attention to what Russian and international law say, draw conclusions and publish reports. I want more people to participate in the monitor, not only in St. Petersburg, but also in other regions. This is not only an opportunity for society to see the court, but also for judges to look at people interested in the court.
I am engaged in monitoring the courts because, in my view, the openness of the courts is the second most important issue (after the militarization of the ambience) that needs to be addressed by the modern human rights community. In addition, monitoring helps my professional development, as I am a student in the Legal Department of St. Petersurg State Universuty. In fact, it’s very interesting to be in court, it’s a great substitute for watching TV shows – the plot is always captivating, the characters are alive, and the ending is unpredictable.
I’m interested in how a person behaves in front of a court. That also applies to other participants in the process.
I am a lawyer and my main task is to analyze collected information, I haven’t actually been to court in a year and I miss that. When you sit in a courtroom and watch with your own eyes, you feel like you’re involved. It gives you an opportunity to see how the living right works through real people and then to discuss it in good company. It’s interesting!
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