Unit 7 RUSSIAN LAW: ROMANOV DYNASTY
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Unit 7 RUSSIAN LAW: ROMANOV DYNASTY



 

Legal modernization stagnated in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as the result of political turmoil, dynastic instability, and civil war. After the installation of the Romanov dynasty in 1613, the legal system and bureaucracy of the late sixteenth century was restored. The legal system, however, became the target of popular suspicion. It was perceived as subject to favoritism and corruption, particularly with respect to lawsuits over escaped serfs. In 1648 demands that the chancellery rulebooks be published became the focus of widespread civil disturbances, which culminated in the calling of an assembly to codify the laws. A vast codification was soon produced, based mainly on the chancellery rule books. The law code of 1649 was one of the most advanced codifications of its time. Its 967 articles fill over two hundred pages in a modern printed edition.

For the first time the substantive law relating to landed property, serfs, slaves, and numerous other subjects was codified, along with lengthy codes of civil procedure and criminal procedure. Everyone, even slaves, had access to the courts, and legal rules were published to regulate most important relationships. The code proclaimed that it was to be applied in all cases, and it was indeed extensively cited in subsequent judgments and trial records. Among the most important, but dubious, achievements of the law code was the completion of the enserfment of the peasantry. The 1649 code was to remain Russia's basic law throughout the remainder of the early modern period.

It is important to note that this legal modernization was accomplished without lawyers or law schools and without any Western models or influences. The clerks in the chancelleries developed considerable practical expertise, but the Russian legal system and Russian law as a whole lacked the theoretical consistency of Western legal systems developed by professional lawyers.

Peter I the Great (ruled 1682–1725) substantially reformed the machinery of justice, replacing the chancelleries with nine colleges, which, like the chancelleries, performed both judicial and administrative functions. He also created the Senate, which among its other functions, served as a supreme court. These institutions remained in place throughout the remainder of the century. Peter also used law as an instrument of reform: his reforms of the civil service, armed forces, and central bureaucracy were accomplished by means of lengthy decrees and regulations. Under Peter the church courts largely lost their independence. Peter also unsuccessfully attempted to transform the law of inheritance by requiring primogeniture.

Under the influence of the Enlightenment, the idea of legal rights, particularly for the nobility, began to gain ground in the eighteenth century, culminating in the Charter to the Nobility in 1785. Throughout the early modern period, law played an important role in controlling crime and protecting the property and status of the service class. Although there were few legal rights, Russia became a state governed by elaborate published laws.

Write the correct word in the space before its definition. There may be more than one definition for each word.

college dynasty lawsuit rulebook
disturbance expertise turmoil procedure
1) ................................. expert knowledge or skill; expertness.
2) ................................. the strictly correct way of doing something.
3) ................................. a disruption of public order and tranquillity; commotion
4) ................................. an organization of persons having a common purpose or common duties.
5) ................................. a case prosecuted in a court of law.
6) ................................. a succession, lasting several generations, of rulers from the same family or group.
7) ................................. a state of great agitation, disturbance, or confused excitement; commotion; tumult.
8) ................................. an official or fixed course of action in business, law, or legislation.

 

Say whether the statements are true or false. Correct the false statement.

1. In 1613 the legal system and bureaucracy of the late sixteenth century was restored.

2. The Legal system was perceived as subject to favoritism and corruption.

was an ordinarycodification of its time.

3. The law code of 1649 had 967 articles.

4. Only aristocrats had access to the courts under the law code of 1649.

5. The legal modernization was accomplished with law schools and with Western legal models.

6. The Russian legal system lacked the theoretical consistency of Western legal systems developed by professional lawyers.

7. The collegesperformed functions different from the chancelleries.

8. Under Peter the church courts largely lost their independence.

9. The Charter to the Nobility was adopted in 1685.

Complete the sentences.

installed serfs expertise procedure
rule books colleges criminal supreme court
  lawsuits enserfment  

 

1. The Romanov dynasty was ................... in 1613.

2. Legal system considered ................... over escaped ................... .

3. The new codification was based mainly on the chancellery ................... .

4. The codes of civil ................... and ................... procedure were codified inthe law code of 1649.

5. Among the most important of the law code was the completion of the ................... of the peasantry.

6. The clerks in the chancelleries developed considerable practical ................... .

7. Peter I the Great replaced the chancelleries with nine ................... .

8. The Senate served as a ................... ................... .


  Module 2 LEGAL STRUCTURE

Unit 1 THE LEGAL STRUCTURE

The Structure

The study of law distinguishes between public law and private law, but in legal practice in the UK the distinction between civil law and criminal law is more important to practicing lawyers. Public law relates to the state. It is concerned with laws which govern processes in local and national government and conflicts between the individual and the state in areas such as immigration and social security.

Private law is concerned with the relationships between legal persons, that is individuals and corporations, and includes family law, contract law and property law. Criminal law deals with certain forms of conduct for which the state reserves punishment, for example, murder or theft. The state prosecutes the offender.

Civil law concerns relationships between private persons, their rights, and their duties. It is also concerned with conduct which may give rise to a claim by a legal person for compensation or an injunction - an order made by the court. However, each field of law tends to overlap with others. For example, a road accident case may lead to a criminal prosecution as well as a civil action for compensation.

Substantive law creates, defines or regulates rights, liabilities, and duties in all areas of law and is contrasted with the state reserves punishment, for example procedural law, which defines the procedure murder and theft. The state prosecutes the by which a law is to be enforced.

 

The constitution

The head of state is the monarch, currently the Queen in the UK, but the government carries the authority of the Crown (the monarch). The Westminster Parliament has two chambers: the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which sit separately and are constituted on different principles.

The Commons is an elected body of members. Substantial reform is being carried out in the upper house, the House of Lords, where it is proposed that the majority of members be appointed, with a minority elected, replacing the hereditary peers. There is no written constitution, but constitutional law consists of statute law, common law, and constitutional conventions.

 

Jurisdiction

There are four countries and three distinct jurisdictions in the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. All share a legislature in the Westminster Parliament for the making of new laws and have a common law tradition, but each has its own hierarchy of courts, legal rules and legal profession. Wales and Northern Ireland each have their own Assembly and since 1999 Scottish Members of Parliament (SMPs) have sat in their own Parliament.

Under an Act of the Westminster Parliament, the Scottish Parliament has power to legislate on any subject not specifically reserved to the Westminster Parliament such as defense or foreign policy. The UK's accession to the European Communities in 1973, authorized by the European Communities Act 1972, has meant the addition of a further legislative authority in the legal system. The UK is also a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights and this has been incorporated into UK law.

 

1. Match these bodies of law (1-3) with their definitions (a-c).

1 civil law a) area of the law which deals with crimes and their punishments, including fines and/orimprisonment (also penal law)
2 common law b) 1)legal system developed from Roman codified law, established by a state for its regulation; 2) area of the law concerned with non-criminal matters, rights and remedies
3 criminal law c) legal system which is the foundation of the legal systems of most of the English-speaking countries of the world, based on customs, usage and court decisions (also case law, judge-made law)

Complete the definitions.

1 .............................. is law relating to acts committed against the law which

are punished by the state.

2 .............................. is concerned with the constitution or government of the

state, or the relationship between state and citizens.

3 .............................. is rules which determine how a case is administered by the courts.

4............................... is concerned with the rights and duties of individuals,

organisations, and associations (such as companies, trade unions, and charities), as opposed to criminal law.

5 .............................. is common law and statute law used by the courts in

making decisions.









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