From the beginning
of the takeover of administrative buildings by the Russian military and until the "referendum", the judges hesitated whether to side with the occupant power, because they did not know what course the situation might take. Thus, courts suspended the adoption of claims and other documents, stopped appointing hearings, and some decisions
to postpone court hearings were made without a date.
The very next day after the "referendum", the judges, trying to adapt to the situation, used to pass
decisions "on behalf of no one". They have not yet started indicating "on behalf of the Russian Federation", but no longer used "on behalf of Ukraine" in court decisions. An example is the ruling
of February 27, 2014 of the Sevastopol Economic Court of Appeal, which still contains a reference to the Ukrainian legislation, but does not specify that the decision was made "on behalf of Ukraine".
On March 16, 2014, a "referendum on the Crimea status determination" was held, as a result of which Crimea was supposed to "reunite with the Russian Federation". On March 18, 2014, the so-called Agreement
on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation, which provided for the extension of its legislation to the territory of the peninsula, was approved. In terms of practical consequences, it meant that the judiciary on the territory of the Crimea will be shaped to reflect the Russian Federation model and the relevant legislation shall be applied to resolve disputes.
On March 21, 2014, the Federation Council approved
the federal constitutional law "On Admission of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and Formation of New Subjects, the Republic of Crimea and the Federal Level City of Sevastopol in the Russian Federation", which defined the status of judges in Crimea. This law established the so-called "transition period" for the integration of existing institutions of the peninsula and the creation of new ones, including in the legal sphere. This "period" was supposed to last from the moment of "admission of the Republic of Crimea" until January 1, 2015, but ended earlier.
Moreover, according to this law, such persons lost the status of Ukrainian judges and obtained the status of "persons acting as judges". It provided a priority right to hold the position of "judge", if a person accepted the Russian citizenship. Nevertheless, such individuals continued to call themselves "judges" in their decisions. In July 2014, the High Qualifications Panel of Judges of the Russian Federation announced two "competitions" for positions of "judges" on the territory of the peninsula, which started the formation of the "judicial corps".
At the same time, as the "judges" noted, there were conflicts over the subordination of the courts to the occupant power after the "referendum" during the "transition period". Thus, the "acting Chief Judge of the Sevastopol economic court of appeals" Tetyana Vydashenko states
in an interview that the former Chief Judge of the Sevastopol economic court of appeals, Volodymyr Koval, continued to send letters and cassation appeals to the Commercial Court of Cassation within the Supreme Court of Ukraine even after Crimea's accession to Russia. She noted
that this caused a conflict in the "judiciary", which divided it into "those who did not want to cut ties with Kyiv, and those who welcomed the changes". Tetyana Vydashenko pointed out that supporters of the occupant power, aided by the "administration", managed to deprive Volodymyr Koval of the position of judge, and to stop admitting those who supported him to the court.
The formation of the occupation "judicial system" ended on December 26, 2014 in accordance with the decision
of the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court of December 23, 2014 "On the Day of Commencement of Activities of the Federal Courts of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea and the Federal city of Sevastopol." Thus, a "system of courts" was created to mimic the Russian one:
- the so-called Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea;
- the so-called Sevastopol City Court;
- the so-called 28 district and city general courts;
- the so-called courts of arbitration;
- the so-called military courts;
- the so-called institute of magistrates.