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APPOINTMENT AND MOVEMENT of MEMBERS of TRIAL CHAMBERS IN the RUSSIAN EMPIRE (on the example of the St. Petersburg chamber)

tatyana of KURAS

APPOINTMENT AND MOVEMENT of MEMBERS of TRIAL CHAMBERS IN the RUSSIAN EMPIRE (on the example of the St. Petersburg chamber)

In the St. Petersburg trial chamber often there was a need of moving of her members to other trial chambers, in district courts and in the Ruling senate. As a result states of these bodies became stronger skilled shots. There was and frequent necessity of judge transfers in Saint Petersburg appellate court. Authorities were guided by expediency principle. Members of Saint Petersburg appellate court were transferred to the other appellate courts, district courts and to Ruling Senate. Such transitions promoted enrichment of judicial bodies with experienced personnel.

St. Petersburg trial chamber, appointment and movement of judges; Saint Petersburg appellate court, appointment and transfers of judges.


Leonidovna —

to. and. N, associate professor

departments judicial

rights Legal




The modern federal legislation imposes serious requirements to the persons applying for positions of judges. The procedure of their recommendation and appointment in courts of various levels is difficult and in details settled. It promotes that the competent lawyers meeting all requirements established in the law with high moral principles become judges. When carrying out modern judicial reform, in particular at study of questions of appointments and movements of judges, the progressive Russian historical experience got as a result of realization of judicial reform of the 19th century was considered

According to judicial charters of 1864 two groups of vessels — magistrates and the general judicial establishments were created: district courts, trial chambers and cassation departments of the Ruling senate. Magistrates considered small civil and criminal cases, district courts — affairs, not jurisdictional to magistrates and not carried by the law to maintaining trial chambers. Trial chambers were the court of appeal for the cases considered by district courts and also considered in the first instance cases of state and malfeasances. The senate was the supreme judicial authority of the country, working as cassation instance.

For carrying out judicial reform the territory of the Russian Empire was divided into judicial districts, in each district the trial chamber, district courts and magistrates was established. Creation of trial chambers became the most important component of judicial reform in the empire. The state laid great hopes on their activity, including them an autocracy stronghold. On April 17, 1866 the ceremonial opening of the St. Petersburg judicial establishments was held. The chamber and district court were located in the repaired building of the former old arsenal at the corner of Foundry and Zakharyevsky streets. At opening there were ranks of judicial department, public and also guests of honor: its imperial highness prince Oldenburgsky, St. Petersburg metropolitan Isidor, members of the State Council, senators and other persons. The highest commands of March 19 and on April 13, 1866 about opening of judicial establishments, the royal orders and orders of the Minister of Justice about were announced

the persons designated in new courts. After the solemn speech of the Minister of Justice, members of new courts and also officials public prosecutor's nadzora1 were sworn in.

According to judicial charters the trial chambers were headed by the senior chairman. Chambers were divided into civil and criminal departments and consisted of the chairman and the number of members determined by states. At each chamber the prosecutor and a certain number of his companions acting under its management consisted. Prosecutors of district courts submitted to prosecutors of chambers, and the last — to the Minister of Justice. Due to the significant seat of chambers in the judicial system the law placed great demands on officials of these vessels. The Russian citizens having the higher legal education could be defined on positions of ranks of trial chambers. Members of trial chambers were appointed from among the persons occupying not less than three years the post not below members and prosecutors of district courts. Chairmen of chambers — from among the persons occupying not less than three years the post not below the prosecutor or the member of trial chamber or the chairman or companion chairman of district court. The persons which were engaged in judicial practice not less than six years to a position of the prosecutor of chamber — could be appointed not less than eight years to the position of companion prosecutor of trial chamber. Great demands were also placed on members of district courts.

The issue of what requirements to the persons applying for judicial positions have to be was problematic due to the lack in Russia of necessary number professionalov2. As a result of long organizational work the structure of the St. Petersburg chamber and district courts of its district by the time of opening of new vessels was fully completed by experienced employees of the Ministry of Justice, Senate and earlier operating judicial authorities.

Further judicial reform on -

1 Opening of new judicial establishments in St. Petersburg and Moscow//the Magazine of the Ministry of Justice, 1866, No. 4, page 203 — 208.
2 A. Vasilevsky. Withdrawals of the Russian newspapers and magazines about judicial reform//the Magazine of the Ministry

justices, 1863, No. 5, page 407; Concerning judicial reform in Russia//the Magazine of the Ministry of Justice, 1864, No. 12, page 422.

therefore it was carried out in various territories of the Russian Empire. By the end of XIX — the beginning of the 20th centuries across all Russia new courts worked, fourteen judicial districts led by trial chambers were created. Need of formation of states of vessels from the competent professionals meeting the requirements of the law resulted. Proceeding from it, the power moved skilled members of the trial chambers created at the beginning of judicial reform to newly established courts. So, when carrying out at the end of the 20th century of judicial reform in Siberia in new courts it was required to appoint to a half of the judges who gained experience on service in courts of European Rossii3. By April, 1897 the staff of the Irkutsk chamber and other new courts of Siberia was created in the most part from the persons which had length of service at high judicial positions in the European Russia including in the St. Petersburg trial chamber. The member of the St. Petersburg chamber G.V. Kastrioto-Skanderbek-Drekalovich became the first senior chairman of the Irkutsk chamber.

During realization of judicial reform in Russia the power transferred professionals from one court to another, being guided by expediency, need to strengthen staff of any court. The analysis of the orders on department of the Ministry of Justice from 1896 for 1917 published in the Magazine of the Ministry of Justice showed that as a part of the St. Petersburg trial chamber during this time in positions of members of chambers and persons of prosecutor's office more than 200 people worked that demonstrates their frequent movements. In some cases the power transferred members of the St. Petersburg chamber for holding the posts to district courts and other trial chambers, than considerably strengthened their structure. It should be noted that the St. Petersburg chamber was "source of manpower" and for the Ruling senate. In total during 1896 — 1917 about 15 ranks of the St. Petersburg chamber were appointed to service in the Senate. So, the companion of the prosecutor of the St. Petersburg chamber Pollan in 1900 was appointed the companion of the chief prosecutor criminal kassatsion-

3 Judicial reform in Siberia//the Magazine of the Ministry of Justice, 1896, No. 6, page 157 — 158.

a leg of the department Ruling senata1.

At transfer of ranks of the St. Petersburg chamber to other courts vacancies opened, and it was required to appoint as soon as possible new faces to these places. In Articles 213 — 215 of "Establishment of judicial establishments" the rule was enshrined that candidates for the opened vacancies were elected and recommended courts at a general meeting. Ideas of candidates arrived to the Minister of Justice through the senior President of Chamber. However further the minister presented to the emperor not only the candidates recommended by chamber but also other persons meeting requirements of the law. Though such situation was fairly criticized, the provision of the law was kept. It was caused, in our opinion, independently to determine by need for the power the persons designated in trial chambers which it was very important to influence activity for samode-rzhaviya2.

Transfer to service to Sankt-Petter - burgsky chamber, undoubtedly, was very prestigious and responsible. From 1896 for 1917 from district courts in the St. Petersburg chamber was a feather -

1 Extraction from the Royal orders on civil department. Order No. 9 of 08.02.1900//Magazine of the Ministry of Justice, 1900, No. 2, page 17-27.
2 Kouros L.V., T.L. Kuras, N.N. Scherbakov. History of the Irkutsk trial chamber. — Ulan-Ude: VSGAKI'S IPC, 2003, page 53 — 55.

Vedeno about 90 people (members of courts, prosecutors and their companions). The most part from them remained to work in chamber. In some cases the St. Petersburg chamber which role in implementation of policy of autocracy was very high amplified shots from the Ruling senate. From 1896 for 1917 from the Senate about ten people were transferred to chamber. So, the companion of the chief prosecutor of civil cassation department of the Ruling senate Geevsky in 1914 was appointed the senior chairman of the St. Petersburg chamber.

As a result of frequent movements of ranks of the St. Petersburg chamber its work was at a loss, the efficiency of activity as new judges needed time to accustom with working conditions in so important court decreased. However such translations were caused by objective need of replacement and strengthening of the staff of the chamber, encouragement of persons, long and professionally working at a justice field in post-reform courts, improvement of quality of work of other vessels. Presence of the judges working in the St. Petersburg chamber a long time (up to ten years and more), provided continuity and personnel training, giving them the chance quickly and correctly to consider cases. It is thought, the modern legislator should consider the accumulated positive historical experience applied in post-reform tsarist Russia.

Michael Murphy
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