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Development of juvenile justice

January 1998 - January 2006

"Promoting the development of probation service for juveniles" (November 2004 – May 2005). At a request of Citizens' Watch, a survey study of legislation and legal practice related to probation service in Northern and Baltic countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia) has been done by a Moscow-based NGO called JURIX (Jurists for constitutional rights and liberties). The analysis of this legislation and the suggestions on how to adapt the experience of Baltic countries in the Russian environment for drafting similar laws has been published in a brochure (220 pp) and will be disseminated in Russian regions. The brochure will be also sent to the Administration and Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg for their consideration. Project coordinator has traveled to Estonia and Sweden, with an aim to get acquainted with the respective systems of probation service for young offenders. A round table has been arranged in St. Petersburg to present the analysis of the Baltic legislation on probation service and discuss the prospects of drafting similar laws with the legislators, city officials, legal experts and NGOs of St. Petersburg.

"Training of social workers engaged in juvenile justice" (2002 – 2004). A training course (134 hours) was designed and taught by leading Russian experts from St. Petersburg and Moscow: university lecturers in psychology, sociology, civil and criminal law, social pedagogy, and medicine, as well as juvenile judges and specialists working with juvenile delinquents in penitentiary institutions. A group of 44 students was formed by practicing social workers and child psychologists from governmental and non-governmental youth centers. The course took place in the premises of Citizens' Watch during 2,5 months in sessions of 12 academic hours every weekend. Apart from indoor classes, visits to three Russian closed institutions for young offenders were arranged for the students. Two of the weekends were entirely given to Scandinavian experience – the students had an opportunity to exchange views with the experts from Finland and Denmark. A 212-page source book was published, containing teaching and information material based on the training course. Articles on children’s crime, psychology, deviant behavior, Russian legislation and effective ways of social work were specially written by the Russian authors – trainers of the course – for this edition. The collection also includes material on the Danish and Finnish experience and a survey of recent experimental projects on juvenile justice in St. Petersburg. The appendix lists St. Petersburg organizations working with children at risk, with their contact details. At the second stage of the Project, a group of social workers was sent to Denmark for two weeks of internship in the Danish institutions and youth centers. As an exchange visit, a group of Finnish students from several units of Diaconia University were invited to St. Petersburg to work as volunteers at Russian youth centres. Two Russian lecturers visited Finland to give presentations at Diaconia University about the civil society and problems of youth in Russia.

International seminar "Protecting Rights of Children in British and Russian Law and Practice" (15 March 2003), with participation of 19 judges from Leningrad Region, 10 judges from St. Petersburg, two judges from Pskov and Vologda, and three juvenile judges from the UK. Funded by DFID and Consulate General of Great Britain in St. Petersburg.

International project "Law on Juvenile Justice for the Russian Federation" (2000 – 2002). Citizens’ Watch took part in the project  funded by Department For International Development of the British Government (DFID) and coordinated by the Moscow-based NAN Foundation. The British consultants worked with a team of Russian experts to bring together different areas of expertise. Each time the British experts traveled to Moscow, Maria Razumovskaya joined them to serve as an interpreter and assist during the meetings, conferences and consultations throughout the project implementation. The working group was formed by legal academics, judges of varying rank, prosecutors, defense lawyers and investigators with special knowledge of juvenile crime. As a result, three draft laws were prepared: Federal Constitutional Law “On Alterations and Amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law of the Russian Federation “On the Judicial System in the Russian Federation”, Federal Constitutional Law "On Juvenile Courts in the Russian Federation", and  Federal Law "On the Basics of the Juvenile Justice System". The first law was passed at its first reading by the State Duma on February 15, 2002, with 366 deputies voting in favor and only 6 against. However, there has been no further development of the legislative procedure since then.

International conference "Problems of juvenile justice: a Comparative Study of the Situation in Russia, Great Britain and Sweden" held in St. Petersburg on 24-25 October 1998 on the initiative and with participation of the British-Russian Lawyers Association, and financed by the Know-How Fund (Great Britain), Heinrich Boell Stiftung (Germany), SIDA (Sweden) and the Ford Foundation (USA), and coordinated by Citizens' Watch.

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