The Chairman of the Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Lebedev, proposed to submit all cases under especially serious articles of the Criminal Code to trial by jury, as well as cases in the field of entrepreneurial activity.
I believe this is a positive initiative. Modern realities are such that only in a jury, can defendants count on unbiased and objective assessment and consideration of their case. It’s no secret that the lion’s share of acquittals in Russia are the results of verdicts handed down by juries. I believe that expanding the range of jury heard cases will significantly increase the number of acquittals and finally change the disturbing statistics, which show that under 1 per cent of defendants are acquitted.
There is some scepticism in the professional community regarding the ability of people without specialised training to consider complex economic matters, but I do not share it.
Most professional judges that hear criminal cases involving entrepreneurial matters are also not specialists in corporate law. Moreover, each business sector has its own distinctive features, and without detailed immersion into them, it is impossible to come to a legitimate and reasonable considered decision. In this regard, see no differences in the people who delve into these atypical legal relationships for them – be it a professional judge or jury. Moreover, in my opinion, a jury will approach the issue much more scrupulously than a professional judge. This will be facilitated by the jury’s fear of reaching an unreasonable verdict, while the judges’ have, over years of professional activity, to put it mildly, dulled significantly.