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The U.S. justice system could be considered similar to the majority of European ones as they descended from Roman law. Using this set of regulations as the basis for further development, Western countries managed to transform and adapt laws to meet specific requirements that come from the peculiarities of culture and mentality. At the same time, there are countries which also used Roman law as the starting point; however, its impact was significantly weaker, and new perspectives on the justice system appeared.
The Russian Federation could be considered one of these states where the existing legal environment has its unique aspects different from European and U.S. ones. That is why the comparison of the Russian and American justice systems could help to improve the comprehending of the way the law functions in different states.
Thus, the legal regulation traditionally comprises the substantive and procedural laws which guarantee the preservation of the public order and provision of punishment. The substantive law encompasses a set of regulations that govern the way members of society are allowed to behave (Burnham, 2016). It defines civil rights and responsibilities. Russia and the USA have similar perspectives on substantive law and guarantee the same rights to citizens. However, the structure of the law is different as the Russian substantive sphere splits into public and private parts (Sergevnin & Kovalev, 2013). The U.S. system does not recognize this division. It has only common and equity laws that are expected to guarantee the preservation of all outlined rights and duties.
As for the procedural law, it includes a set of rules to administer the substantive law (Burnham, 2016). In other words, it is responsible for the detection of breaches of the law and the provision of the appropriate punishment. There are significant differences in the Russian and American legal systems related to the given sphere. First, the moratorium on capital punishment is established in the Russian Federation. It means that no person could be sentenced to death. On the contrary, the majority of the U.S. states (31) consider capital punishment a legal penalty that could be applied to different cases (Burnham, 2016).
There are many other differences in the given sphere of law related to the terms of punishment, penalties, litigation, etc. In general, it is possible to note a significant number of differences that precondition a divergence in perspectives on the procedural law and the way it should be executed.
Continuing the comparison of two legal systems, the peculiarities of judicial review should also be outlined. In the Russian Federation, courts can supervise legislative acts at all stages of the lawsuit; however, only the Constitutional Court possesses the authority to nullify unconstitutional regulatory acts (Libbe, 2011). As for the USA, its constitution does not provide a judicial review with the authority to cancel acts that contradict the main law. Only the Supreme Court of the United States can investigate cases of this character and determine their constitutional or unconstitutional nature (Burnham, 2016). This difference impacts the whole legal environment as it preconditions the appearance of numerous precedents related to legislative acts or other solutions that could be illegal.
Besides, the preservation of public peace and law observance is guaranteed by the functioning of policing systems which are different in the USA and Russia. The American system presupposes the provisioning of outstanding authorities to every police officer who should be ready to use force in emergent situations (Burnham, 2016). In Russia, the power of an officer is limited by numerous regulations and limits that are introduced to avoid power abuse and protect citizens from it. Additionally, the efficiency of the Russian policing system suffers because of the low level of officers training, lack of skills, corruption, and poor financing (Sergevnin & Kovalev, 2013).
Comparing the U.S. and Russian systems, it is crucial to state that the latter is still recovering from its great restructuring and constantly looks for new forms and approaches that should be used to satisfy the diverse needs of the population.
International Police Cooperation
Finally, both states are involved in the international police cooperation that is created to improve the efficiency of the justice system across the world and ensure that all lawbreakers will be provided with an appropriate punishment. Both Russia and the USA are members of the International Police Organization (INTERPOL) which is an intergovernmental unit that fastens police cooperation in different countries (Libbe, 2011).
Moreover, the USA and Russia could act together in case their efforts help to solve a problematic situation. For this reason, the similarity in perspectives on international police cooperation could be observed.
Altogether, the USA and Russia use specific legal systems that have some similarities; however, they remain different because of the peculiarities of demands to their functioning which exist in these states. The given comparison provides an opportunity to understand essential divergences and consider the impact they might have on legislation and outcomes. Finally, differences in laws also impact the states policing systems as they have to adapt to the suggested legal framework to be able to preserve social order and guarantee the observance of the main regulations and laws.
Burnham, W. (2016). Introduction to the law and legal system of the United States. St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing.
Sergevnin, B., & Kovalev, O. (2013). Policing in Russia. In G. Mesko, C. Fields, B. Lobinkar, & A. Soltar (Eds.), Handbook on policing in Central and Eastern Europe (pp.191-215). New York, NY: Springer.