Law 87- ф 3 was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin six months prior to the December 2007 presidential election. Law 87- ф 3 rearranged the division of functions between the investigator and the procurator during the preliminary investigation. It also saw the creation of the investigative committee within the procuracy, which would have exclusive supervision of all investigations within that branch. Because of the Committee’s personal jurisdiction over investigations involving individuals with official immunity and agents of Russia’s power structures, both Russian media and Western academia saw the law as being politically motivated by the upcoming transfer of power. The new law is seen as a further step in Russia’s transition away from a Soviet procurator-centered criminal procedure system and toward a judicial oversight model consistent with adversarial principles. This paper examines the political rationalizations for law 87- ф 3 reforms and points out the flaws. While not denying the validity of these justifications, this paper posits that such explanations are unverifiable. The paper concludes by providing procedural justifications for law 87- ф 3.
Kirill Ershov, Russian Federation’s Law No. 87- ф 3: Political Machination or Procedural Reform?, Pace Int’l L. Rev. Online Companion, Feb. 2010, at 1.