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Judicial reform in the Kingdom of Poland in 1876

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Work on judicial reform in the Kingdom of Poland began at the end of 1864 amid the aftermath of the defeated January 1863 uprising and the resulting gradual abolition of the country’s legal and political separation from Russia. It was decided that the Russian Judicial Laws of 1864 were to be implemented in the Kingdom, yet all of their solutions providing for the society’s participation in administering justice were removed during the twelve years long legislative process. Jury trial was abandoned, the election of justices of the peace replaced with their appointment, and the irremovability of judges was severely restricted. Also, the bar did not receive any autonomy. The goal behind the judicial reform in the Kingdom was not only unifying its judiciary with that of Russia but also its Russification. Russian became the official language of the courts and the newly appointed judges were to be Russian lawyers. On the other hand, an undeniable improvement was brought about by the introduction of Russian civil and criminal procedure in the Kingdom. The former remained in force in the central and eastern parts of the independent Polish state until 1933 and the latter – until 1929.

About the Author

Artur Korobowicz
Maria Curie-Skłodowska University
Professor at the Faculty of Law and Administration, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin (Plac Marii CurieSkłodowskiej 5, Lublin, 20-031, Poland)


1. Korobowicz, Artur. Sądownictwo Królestwa Polskiego 1876–1915 passim (Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej 1996).

2. Krzemiński, Stanisław. Dwadzieścia pięć lat Rosji w Polsce (1863–88): Zarys historyczny 167 (Red. ‘Ekonomisty Polskiego’ 1892).

3. Zientara, Benedykt, et al. Dzieje gospodarcze Polski do 1939 r. 406–46 (Wiedza Powszechna 1965).

4. Острогорский М. Юридический календарь на 1914 г. Часть вторая [Ostrogorsky M. Yuridicheskii kalendar’ na 1914 g. Chast’ vtoraya [Moisey Ostrogorsky, Legal Calendar for 1914. Part Two]] 17–89 (Trenke i Fyusio 1914).

For citation:

Korobowicz A. Judicial reform in the Kingdom of Poland in 1876. Russian Law Journal. 2014;2(4):91-103.

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ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
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