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Restoration of revolutionary tribunals in the territory of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area in the early twenties of the XX century

UDK 9 (c) 16


© 2010 D.A. Goryev

Armavir state pedagogical university, Armavir State Pedagogical University,

R. Luxemburg St., 159, Armavir, 352900 R. Lyuksemburg St., 159, Armavir, 352900

An attempt of identification of features of organizational registration of revolutionary tribunals in Kubano-Chernomorsky area after restoration of the Soviet power in the spring of 1920 is made. The circle of the problems which arose in the course of the organization of activity of Regional Kubano-Chernomorskogorevolyutsionny tribunal is covered.

In this article the attempt of exposure offeatures of organizational registration of revolutionary tribunals is undertaken in Kuba-no-Chernomorsk of area after renewal of Soviet power a spring 1920 In the article light up the circle ofproblems, arising up in the process of organization of activity of Regional Kubano-Chernomorsk of revolutionary tribunal.

The history of creation and activity of revolutionary tribunals as parts of the Soviet judicial system is an object of constant attention of historians and jurists [1]. The interest of researchers in studying revolutionary tribunals considerably increased now due to the need of reconstruction of an objective historical picture of activity of bodies of extraordinary justice in our country at the beginning of the 20th century. We made an attempt to reveal features of organizational registration of revolutionary tribunals of Kubano-Chernomorsky area during the period from April, 1920 to April, 1921 on the basis of a research of the contemporary records which are again introduced for scientific use.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation existing now fixed 1993 the relation of the state to the structure of the judicial system which is essentially rejecting extraordinary justice. In Article 118 of the basic law it is said: "Justice in the Russian Federation is carried out only by court (item 1). Creation of emergency courts is not allowed (item 3)" [2, page 52]. However the research of experience of activity of the bodies of extraordinary justice existing in the Soviet Russia in the first postrevolutionary years is of interest to judgment of process of formation of the present judicial system.

The October revolution of 1917 led to abolition of the existing earlier judicial authorities and creation of the new judicial system which component were revolutionary tribunals. According to the Decree about court No. 1, they were established for fight against the most dangerous types of crime [3]. Later short time after the publication of the Decree the most part of Russia became covered by network of revolutionary tribunals. To spring of 1920 in the Central Russia it was created and the system of regional revtribunal functioned, and in the Red Army the network of the revolutionary military courts (RMC) is organized.

The organization of revtribunal in Kuban began with establishment of the Soviet power at the beginning of 1918 and ended in August of the same year with the termination of its existence in the region because of Civil war. Broad local law-making and also a prevalence of process of construction of revolutionary tribunals over the general vessels was features of process of judicial construction in Kuban in the first months of existence of the Soviet power.

Restoration of the Soviet power in Kubano-Chernomorsky area in the spring of 1920 returned also functioning to network of revolutionary tribunals here. Long finding of the region under control of the white movement and use of the practical experience of judicial construction in RSFSR accumulated by this time was defined by features of process of restoration of bodies of extraordinary justice.

It is known that in release of area from deni-kinets the important role was played by military units of the 9th army of the Caucasian front. At the beginning of April, 1920 the front line came very close to the Black Sea coast, and in Ekaterinodar from New

Cherkassk there arrived RVT at the Revolutionary Council of War of the 9th army of the Caucasian front [4, page 131]. It had solid experience of activity as it was formed in Borisoglebsk in October, 1918 by order of field revolutionary tribunal of the Southern front of extraordinary field commission of inquiry [5, l. 18]. In May, 1920 in connection with renaming of the 9th army in Kuban [6, page 321] the army tribunal was renamed into RVT of the 9th Kuban army. In the territory of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area except RVT of the 9th army its departments (divisional RVT) were deployed. As documents testify, by May, 1921 departments at the 22nd, 31st, 34th divisions and the 42nd crew were under its supervision [7, l. 86 about]. Formation of military courts happened more dynamically than creation of a civil Kubano-Chernomorsky regional revtribunal as RVT of the 9th Kuban army carried out the activity even before the emergence in Kuban.

Creation of judicial authorities in the Caucasus, as well as all Soviet construction, was carried out under close attention of Moscow. So, for the organization of local bodies in the North Caucasus and in Transcaucasia the member of presidium of the Kaluga gubsovnarsud P.N. Alekseev [8, l was seconded to the order of the Caucasian revolutionary committee by the National Commissariat of Justice (NCJ) as the instructor. 6]. And in Kuban the active role in the organization of department of justice, especially national vessels, was played by the legal adviser sent to NKYu and the instructor Krasnushkin. Later, July 13, 1920, he headed regional department of justice [9, l. 14].

Existence of the political center gave the chance of implementation in the Kubano-Chernomorsky field of systematic judicial construction after restoration of the Soviet power in 1920; significantly influenced process of creation of revolutionary tribunals, having predetermined feature of this period unlike spontaneous emergence of bodies of revolutionary justice in the first months of existence of the Soviet power in the country. Us any document confirming the fact of spontaneous creation of revolutionary vessels in the territory of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area during fighting and after restoration of the Soviet power in 1920 is not revealed

The correspondence of NKYu and the North Caucasian Revolutionary Committee (NCRC) found us about establishment of Special tribunal for the Caucasian Mineralovodchesky group [8, l allows to track policy of NKYu and Cassation tribunal at VTsIK in the sphere of the organization of revtribunal in the conditions of restoration of the Soviet power in the territory of the North Caucasus. 14 - 17 about]. According to correspondence, NKYu SKRK the organization of such tribunal owing to "total absence on places of suitable workers" refused, and postponed the solution of a question until reorganization of the Pyatigorsk district to the province then "the tribunal can be organized on the basis of requirements of Article 3 of the Provision on revtribunala i.e. if in this

areas there will be not less than 200,000 inhabitants" [8, l. 14]. Besides, NKYu demanded immediate abolition of the Special commission authorized operating at district commission of inquiry to make decisions on a capital punishment in the closed court sessions. The similar fact reflects the course of judicial construction chosen as soviet leadership based on systematic formation of a centralized system of judicial and repressive bodies in the region.

One more feature of the recovery period in Kuban was parallel construction of extraordinary and general judicial authorities, unlike the first months of the Soviet power when emergency courts over the general prevailed. In Kubano-Chernomorsky area the judicial and investigative section of department of justice organized on April 20, 1920 at regional revolutionary committee [9, l was engaged in creation of a regional revtribunal and introduction of institute of national vessels. 9]. In May, 1920 along with a regional revtribunal in some departments began the activity and national courts [9, l. 44 about., 45].

Search and training of professional staff became the important direction of regional policy in the sphere of the organization of the Soviet party and local authorities. Their selection, according to the chairman of Kubano-Chernomorsky revolutionary committee Jan Poluyan, was for area "sore point" [10, page 369]. Organized in May, 1920. The Kubano-Chernomorsky regional revolutionary tribunal owing to the tasks assigned to it acted in the region as body of class fight against enemies of proletarian dictatorship, and all members of tribunal consisted in RCP(b) party [9, l. 9 about.]. Personnel problems of RVT of the 9th army were solved by involvement of lawyers of the royal judicial system. As the member of board of a revvoyentribunal F.I. Pelevin remembered, "in Krasnodar RVT of the 9th army carried out mobilization of lawyers from among the former investigators, prosecutors, etc. fleeing various cities of Russia. In the presence of the head of department they conducted interrogations of defendants and witnesses. We studied at them to skill of investigation" [4, page 132, 133].

As confirm results of a research of activity of department of justice at Kubano-Chernomorsky revolutionary committee, at the initial stage of its existence the personnel problem was very acute. In particular, documents confirm the excessive fluidity of the managerial personnel. For example, in five and a half months five managers of departments of justice [9, l were replaced. 19].

The research of the archive material allows to claim that the lack of regular work of department of justice as an adverse image influenced activity of a regional revtribunal. In the report of June 24, 1920 written by responsibles and members of board of department of justice to Kubano-Chernomorsky revolutionary committee and to regional committee of RCP(b) it is told about a heavy mat -

the real situation of department a number of instructions on negative trends also contains in work of department of justice which directly caused disorganization of activity of a regional revtribunal [11, l. 5 - 12]. In the report it was noted that usurpation of the power by the head of department of justice Kalinin which was expressed, in particular, in free appointment and movement of employees of judicial and investigative section had negative effect on the course of work of a revtribunal. The question of disorganization of the activity of retaliatory section caused by lack of control over the manager of prison [11, l was brought also up. 8]. As a result revtribunat it was deprived of exact lists of the arrested persons who are in prison. In the text of a note it is said about this situation: "... often revtribunat appoints business, calls witnesses and publishes in the newspaper about the affairs appointed to hearing in the day of a meeting; the prison instead of arrested sends data that on these affairs all arrested or a part them are already released" [11, l. 10]. Release of defendants from prison forced employees of a revtribunal to postpone appointed to hearing of the case. Similar circumstances had negative effect on authority of tribunal and on the course of the cases considered by it. Besides, the elicited facts allow to assume that there was negative negligence of the head of department of justice Kalinin to workers of a revtribunal. It was expressed in numerous insults of members of tribunal. For some insults under the resolution of the komyacheyka who recognized his behavior inadmissible Kalinin was forced to apologize [11, l. 6, 6 about.].

Both contents, and the fact of writing of the report by party workers among which there were members of board of a regional revtribunal and managers of the general and judicial and investigative sections are indicative; it reflects disorganization in the system of work of department of justice which component was revtribunat.

On June 28, 1920 at a meeting of Kubano-Chernomorsky Committee of RCP(b) this report was considered, Kalinin is discharged of a position and deprived of the right to hold in the future important posts. The chairman of the Kubano-Chernomorsky revtribunal Yaichnikov [12, l was appointed the acting as the head of department of justice. 45 about., 46]. Later, July 12, 1920, at this position it was replaced by Krasnushkin [12, l. 51 about.].

The problem of differentiation of a field of activity of a revtribunal and department of justice, delimitation of their competence remained unresolved up to the beginning of 1921 when L.B. Kamenev who arrived to Kuban with agitpoyezdy VTsIK "October revolution" paid attention to relationship of a revtribunal and department of justice. To bring big definiteness in this question, it charged to NKYu to develop instructions about relationship of departments of justice and revtribunal [9, l. 135 about.].

The difficult military-political situation in the region had decisive impact on activity

a revtribunala and the retaliatory policy pursued in Kubano-Chernomorsky area. The discontent of the population of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area with policy of Bolsheviks was the cause of formation in its territory of "white-green" groups, and in the summer - fall of 1920 opposition of a dissatisfied part of the population and the new power accepted open character in the form of "little civil war" [13].

In the conditions of the situation which developed in the territory of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area the mobilization of military forces and strengthening of repressive policy with prevalence of an administrative way of permission of the arising questions became immediate actions of bodies of the Soviet power. In September, 1920 in administrative and territorial units of area the special "three" and special departments of the 9th army applying to counterrevolutionarily adjusted population and the persons promoting them a capital punishment began to work [14, page 58 - 59]. The overweight in repressive policy towards a command way of permission was noted also by L.B. Kamenev. In particular, he pointed to the "excessive initiative of extraordinary bodies" considerably narrowing activity of national vessels and even civil revtribunal [9, l. 134, 134 about.].

a Certain tension in relationship between civil and military departments also the problem brought placement of the Soviet institutions. In Krasnodar at meetings of Kubano-Chernomorsky Committee of RCP(b) this question was a subject of numerous trials [12, l. 35, 35 about., 41, 41 about., 43]. Sharply negative assessment of "inconsiderate" behavior of the Defense Ministry was given by L.B. Kamenev who noted that "almost all buildings of the courts which are perfectly adapted for legal proceedings were occupied by military institutions. Sometimes directly by force of arms" [9, l. 134, 134 about.]. In extremely severe conditions it turned out regional revtribunat at the beginning of summer of 1920. In the building where it was, the pharmaceutical warehouse of the 9th army and command courses was placed. The tribunal was actually closed. Within one and a half months his employees had no opportunity to appoint affairs to hearing. It, undoubtedly, affected the number of the investigated affairs and as a result predetermined excessive load of a revtribunal in the next months [15, l. 142]. From statistical data of activity of a revtribunal it is visible that from May to July, 1920 only 12 court sessions on which only 194 cases from 559 arrived were considered are held. For comparison, during the subsequent period from July to October, 1920 the number of court sessions grew to 141, and 953 cases from 1,233 arrived [16, l were considered. 110, 111].

With the onset of cold weather at the end of fall of 1920 work in department of justice, the revtribunal and in People's Court became complicated as fuel for heating of their rooms was not at disposal of Economic council. During the winter the revtribunal had to work in the cold room. Heating was adjusted only in the first of February, 1921 [9, l. 157]. Noted a difficult situation of tribunal in the report from

On November 11, 1920 chairman Yaichnikov: "At last the last question in my reporting document, - he wrote in Kubano-Chernomorsky revky and the regional committee of RCP(b), is an absolute lack of firewood for tribunal. All poprostuzhivatsya and practically do not work. If firewood is not still though week, it is necessary to stop any work in tribunal" [17, l. 19]. However activity of tribunal continued.

The statistical data found in fund of the Ministry of Justice confirm receipt in revtribunat a large amount of cases. For 1920 for its consideration 2,779 cases, this greatest number in comparison with other administrative and territorial units of North Caucasus region and also provinces and areas of RSFSR arrived. For example, for 1920 in Donskoy regional revtribunat 1,535 cases, and came to the Stavropol provincial-444 affairs [18, page 74]. O.I. Slyusareva considers feature of activity of revtribunal in the territory of the North Caucasus their aspiration in a difficult military-political situation to narrow activity of national vessels what connects a large number of the cases which came to Kubano-Chernomorsky regional with revtribunat [19, page 47]. However the research of its statistical reporting allows to challenge this opinion. We consider that the main reason for receipt in Kubano-Chernomorsky regional revtribunat a large amount of cases consisted in bad awareness of judicial investigating authorities on competence of a revtribunal that allowed to direct it considerable number of cases obviously "at the wrong door". Especially it is clear it is traced in initial months of work of tribunal. From 194 cases considered within May - July, 1920, 87% were are transferred on jurisdiction. It should be noted gradual reduction of receipt of similar affairs, and in the next months this indicator gradually decreased, remaining rather high (58.5% for July - October, 1920 and 25.8% for October, 1920 - January, 1921 [16, l. 110, 111, 112]. So, of 2,022 affairs ended in 1920 nearly a half (47%) were made by the cases submitted by tribunal to other judicial authorities on jurisdiction, 36% of affairs were stopped for lack of evidence and only in the relation of 17% of the cases considered revtribunaly the decision on a being was made. Apparently their statistical data, arrived for consideration in revtribunat the majority affairs made affairs, to it not jurisdictional or criminally not punishable.

So, with restoration of the Soviet power in the territory of the Kubano-Chernomorsky area the new stage of the Soviet judicial construction and formation of network of revolutionary tribunals began with spring of 1920. Its organizational and purposeful character significantly differed from the first attempts of formation of revolutionary judicial authorities made in 1918. During the studied period the creation of bodies of NKYu in Kubano-Chernomorsky area happened centrally, and the organization of a system of the general national vessels was carried out along with creation

regional revolutionary tribunal. Owing to the objective reasons the formation of military courts happened more dynamically, than civil revolutionary tribunal.

The shortage of experienced employees and inconsistency of activity in regional department of justice had considerable negative impact on quality of activity of the Kubano-Chernomorsky regional revtribunal. However, despite a number of the difficulties which arose in the course of formation in the territory of the area of a system of revolutionary tribunals, the task of the Soviet power of creation of the operating bodies of extraordinary justice was carried out.


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