By Nancy Kollmann
It is a magisterial new account of the daily perform of Russian legal justice within the 17th and early eighteenth centuries. Nancy Kollmann contrasts Russian written legislation with its pragmatic software through neighborhood judges, arguing that this mix of formal legislation and criminal associations with casual, versatile perform contributed to the country's social and political balance. She additionally areas Russian advancements within the broader context of early sleek eu state-building innovations of governance and criminal perform. She compares Russia's rituals of execution to the 'spectacles of soreness' of latest eu capital punishment and uncovers the dramatic ways that even the tsar himself, complying with Moscow's ideologies of legitimacy, bent to the ethical economic climate of the group in moments of rebellion. all through, the publication assesses how felony criminal perform used violence strategically, administering bad punishments occasionally and in others accommodating with neighborhood groups and well known strategies of justice.
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Extra info for Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia
33 In judicial practice, torture, sentences and punishments for state crime (secular or religious) were harsher than for common felonies. In sum, highest crime was that which attacked the foundations of the state, whether its religious institutions and beliefs or secular rulers. By the mid seventeenth century the law in letter and practice recognized three areas of law in which the state’s courts were involved – highest crime, felony and misdemeanor – of which the first two qualified as “criminal law” in their use of inquisitorial procedure, susceptibility to capital punishment and other indicators.
Starr calls such practices in Imperial Russia “inadequate bureaucratization”: Decentralization, 27–9. ” Bellomo, Common Legal Past, esp. ch. 4 on ius proprium. 125 on Sun Dec 23 05:42:06 WET 2012. 003 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 Foundations of the criminal law 19 powerful discourses of absolutism and dissemination of court culture established the foundation of the king’s centralized power, as in Muscovy. But France’s vaunted absolutism was accomplished by skillful accommodation with provincial nobilities, guilds, municipalities and other intermediary bodies, and by recognition of regional languages, over 300 provincial and local customary law codes and age-old seigneurial privileges.
On Russia’s judicial system, he remarked that “nowhere is trial and justice given for any person in any case except in the tsar’s chanceries . . ” To our modern eyes, this description might seem hopelessly medieval – so many courts, such fragmentation of authority. Yet to Kotoshikhin and readers in his day,1 this statement might seem remarkable for its brevity: Kotoshikhin was underscoring the tsar’s control over the judiciary when most states of Muscovy’s size and ilk struggled with more fragmented judicial institutions.
Crime and Punishment in Early Modern Russia by Nancy Kollmann