The century The eighteenth century is the century of reforms for the Russian state. The laws have a profoundly innovative character: they are no longer created by the Tsar, by the Duma of boyars and by Zemskij sobor(forms of popular representation), but by the government. The personal will of the monarch, declared in the previously established forms, is law. When the government publishes laws, it does not sanction old customs but creates new legal norms. The characteristics of the new legislation can be summarized as follows: the ukaz of Peter the Great, dated 1714, is definitively applied, for which the laws must be printed; the laws are publicized, having them read in churches on holidays, and in markets on fair days, noting those who are absent; except in exceptional cases, custom gives way to law.
a) Laws of the century. XVIII. – After the Ulo ž enie of Tsar Alexis Michajlovič, innumerable laws were published: more than 600 under the regency of Tsar Alexis himself, as many as 5948 under Catherine II.
To codify the enormous material that had accumulated, various commissions were appointed by Peter the Great, and subsequently by Catherine I, by Peter II, by Elizabeth Petrovna, by Catherine II and by Paul I, but they did not arrive, in the century. XVIII, to no concrete result.
The laws of the century XVIII take different names: ustavy (read in the sense of a single text); reglamenty (regulations); ukazy (read about certain, particular objects); manifesiy. Among the most interesting ustavy are: the military one, published in 1716 by Peter the Great; that of the navy, published 4 years later; that on bills of exchange (already known, but for the first time, on the Germanic model, subject to legal discipline), published in 1729 by Peter II; that of Police, of 1782, under Catherine II (particularly interesting for the history of Russian criminal and public law).
Pietro the Great, proceeding with the administrative reform, created the Colleges “(especially ministries). Each college had its own regulation, that is a body of laws determining its own competence and organization. But other bodies also had their own regulations. said “spiritual” ratified by Peter the Great in December 1720. it explains why he advised Peter the Great to abolish the “Patriarchate” (patriar š is Estêvão) and create the College of the Holy Synod. Among ukazy of sec. XVIII deserve mention: the one on the succession of the firstborn, of 1714; on the table of ranks, of 1722; the 1764 manifesto on the secularization of ecclesiastical goods, etc.
b) Laws of the century. XIX. – The principle that the law is an act of the personal will of the monarch is reaffirmed in this century: but the process of legislative creation receives a more complete elaboration. The initiative of the law, formerly due to the Holy Synod and to the ministers, now belongs to the emperor. The ministers, or special commissions, draw up the project; the Council of State examines it; the emperor sanctions him. Legal terminology also assumes stable and precise characteristics. Every systematic collection of laws for single branches of law is called ulo ž enie: Per u č re ž deniemeans any collection of laws, determining the order and competence of public bodies. Tali: U è re ž denie of the senate, ministries, etc. The ustav is any collection of norms for single branches of the administration (eg, the ustav of censorship), but it often takes on the meaning of the two preceding terms; the nakaz is the law that determines the activity of the governing bodies (eg, general nakaz of the governorates). Polo ž enieis any collection of laws published for specific corporate bodies or categories of people. Alongside these laws, approved by the Council of State or the Committee of Ministers, there are those that come directly from the monarch. These laws take the name of: ukazy ; manifesty ; reskripty, Příkazy (the latter are service orders: eg., on grades, on the rewards, etc.). The need to codify the existing legislative material at the beginning of the century has become urgent. XIX the last commission appointed in 1790 was reformed: but it began to give concrete results only at the beginning of 1826, when, under Nicholas I, it was transformed into a special “second section of the can personal cellery of SM “. Balugjansky was placed at the head of this section, but, in fact, it was Speransky who directed the work. However, while he favored the compilation of a new legislative collection of laws promulgated until then. Thus, under the direction of Speransky, the “First complete collection of the laws of the Russian Empire” (Pervoe polnoe sobranie zakonov) was composed, in 45 volumes: it goes from the Ulo ž enie of Tsar Alexis to 12 December 1825. A second complete collection contains the laws issued from December 13, 1825 to February 18, 1881, in 55 volumes. Immediately afterwards, in 1881, the publication of a third collection began.
The “collection” was soon followed by the “code of laws” (Svod zakonov – publ. In 1832 and entered into force on January 1, 1835) containing, in 15 volumes, only the laws actually in force, enacted until to 1 January 1832, with the exception of those relating to religion, the army and the navy and the laws of civil law in force in the Baltic regions, in Poland and in Bessarabia. But Russian legislation was constantly developing. The great reform of 1861 brought about an upheaval in the general principles of civil law. In 1862 the “fundamental principles on the judicial system” were issued,zemstvo). Under Alexander III (1881-1894) very important laws on land ownership were enacted – payment of land, establishment of agricultural banks for peasants, etc. – and on public education, military schools and the press. In 1889 the reform of the jury was completed.
The new laws were published separately as they were sanctioned. Some of them (judicial statutes, organization of local courts, etc.) were brought together in a single book which was the 16th.
Nonetheless, in recent times Russian legislation was becoming increasingly cumbersome. In order to ensure a harmonious place in the system of Svod zakonov for the new laws that were being created, it was necessary, starting from 1863, to publish an official bulletin (Š obranie uzakonenij i rasporja ž enij pravitel ′ stva. – Collection of laws and government provisions) which reported the additions, amendments, and abrogations of the laws in force. These new laws were brought together in special appendices added to Svod zakonov (Prodol ž enie svoda zakonov rossijsskoj imperii- Appendix to the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire) with the indication of the volume to which they referred. The “Appendices” to the eight existing codices were, for systematic convenience, in recent times, all gathered in a kind of single text which was called the “collection of appendices” (Svodnyja Prodol ž enija).