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NCJ Number: 163179 Find in a Library
Title: Taking the Heat
Journal: ABA Journal  Volume:82  Dated:(May 1996)  Pages:66-68
Author(s): H Schwartz
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Judges in Eastern Europe are struggling against still- repressive regimes to uphold the rule of law.
Abstract: Constitutional democracy continues to take root in the former Soviet bloc, but the hopes that emerged at the end of the Cold War are now long gone. Old habits have begun to reappear, and often the targets are independent judges. Although still young and immature in the ways of constitutional democracy, the judiciaries in some of these countries have begun to operate with an independence and self-confidence that could not have been anticipated 7 years ago. In response, authoritarian regimes in Albania, Bulgaria, and other countries have retaliated against judges who issued unfavorable court rulings, using everything from parliamentary maneuvers to prison sentences for dissident judges. Many current rulers in Eastern European countries are neo-Communist holdovers, in power either because of popular disillusionment with the inept government provided by the former dissidents, as in Bulgaria, or because the Communists were never really dislodged from power, as in much of the former Soviet Union. Despite the historic factors that weigh in against judicial independence, many of the courts in these countries have shown commitment to the rule of law, as they have held to be unconstitutional many of the efforts of government authorities to turn back the clock to pre-1989 government authoritarianism.
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Eastern Europe; Judges; Judicial independence
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