This project started as a simple internal tool to facilitate hypotheses building for researchers at the Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University in St. Petersburg, Russia. Scholars studying judicial decision-making felt the urge to navigate in court rulings. With data, there is always a trade-off between level of detail and ease of access. To circumvent it, we decided to work with aggregated data at court level. Once we obtained a complete picture of the judiciary we realised its social value.
Showing the general public this picture serves 3 purposes. First, an informed citizen could alleviate some of his/her concerns with the judiciary. Known to be a black-box to an ordinary person, it is subject to many misconceptions. The atlas puts an end to some of those myths. Second, the map makes the public aware of their neighbourhood. High crime level or inadequate response can greatly decrease the quality of life in any area, however small it may be. Third, the atlas sets a new transparency standard. Once court practices are known, it is easier to evaluate and study them.
We are using a court-level aggregated data of the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation. This data was extended to include court locations and other variables of interest. We are perfectly aware that it is not the complete data set: some courts are missing, we even have limited coverage of some regions. This is why we created a community to document and fix the errors.
The Mission of The Institute of the Rule of Law is to promote the rule of law in Russia through research, media activities and participation in public debate. The Institute believes that informing the general public and providing guidance to stakeholders, including decision-makers is instrumental in achieving that.
We invite you to join our community with ideas or questions. You can also make private inquiries there.