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The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Too true to laugh: Glossary of Terms for Criminal Court Judges


The Russian language  version of this brief glossary of terms was circulated on social networks.  While humorous, the definitions of court, justice, the role of judge, prosecutor and others unfortunately describe the situation in Ukraine depressingly well.

Court – the place where decisions taken by the detective inquiry and pre-trial investigation departments are formalized;

Justice (pravosudiye)  - the process of finding the defendant guilty;

Judge – a State official appointed by the President and carrying out the decisions of those in power;

Prosecutor – a State official helping the judge to expose the defendant;

Advocate – a necessary but useless person trying vainly to pervert the justice process;

Defendant – a criminal whose guilt, established by the investigators, will be confirmed through the sentence;

Witness for the Prosecution – a person helping to expose the criminal;

Witness for the Defence – a person vainly endeavouring to mislead the court;

Proof – any document or item confirming the defendant’s guilt;

Defendant’s alibi – a dishonest fairytale unable to mislead the court;

Remand in custody – the most reliable means of preventing the defendant from committing new crimes;

Genuine confession – a desirable, but not essential condition for issuing a guilty verdict;

Protocol of the court hearing – a piece of paper where they note information exposing the defendant;

Retraction of previously given testimony – a futile attempt to mislead the court;

Statement by the defendant alleging torture  - totally unsubstantiated defamation of the detective inquiry and pre-trial investigation bodies;

Adversarial proceedings – a declarative measure to calm the advocate and defendant;

Sentence – the indictment added to and corrected by the judge. 

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