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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report Finds Endemic Corruption in the Judiciary

Russian authorities have increased their influence over the country's judicial system over the past few years and have done little to tackle corruption in the courts, Transparency International said in its annual Global Corruption Report released Thursday.

The report, which focused on judicial corruption worldwide, singled out Russia and Argentina as countries where "erosion of international standards is evident."

Despite reforms by the governments of Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, "a supine, underpaid judiciary, ill-equipped to withstand corruptive practices and the influence of economic or political interest" has been slow to change, the survey of 32 countries said in its chapter on Russia.

"This is pretty much what Putin failed to accomplish," said Yelena Panfilova, director for Transparency International in Russia.

"[Corruption in the courts] remained and ossified."

Panfilova said that while these problems were also common in other emerging economies, such as India and Brazil, little was being done to tackle them in Russia.

By tolerating judicial corruption "the authorities are giving their blessing to mayors, businesspeople and ordinary citizens to do the same," Panfilova said.

The International Bar Association is concerned by the fact that in a number of cases judges have been dismissed under pressure from corrupt court chairmen and other officials, Transparency International said.

The report estimated the total annual figure for bribes paid in Russian courts at $210 million.

The report did not rank the countries surveyed.