Russian Law Journal

Advanced search

Judicial Reforms in Russia: 1864 to 2014

Full Text:


In 2014 we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Judicial Reform in Russia. The 1860s are known as a time of major reforms in various spheres of life, one of them being the Judicial Reform adopted in 1864. Before 1864 civil procedure was considered to be the classical form of inquisitorial justice1 with active judges and passive parties. Inquisitorial procedure was a written process conducted in secret with no legal representatives in court, and with formal evaluation of evidence (otsenka dokazatel’stv). Instead of an inquisitorial procedure the Judicial Reform introduced an adversarial system with active parties and more or less passive judges, an open, oral (public) process, legal representatives, and free evaluation of evidence. So, for Russian procedure it was a revolution as it happened in other countries of Europe, which turned away from an inquisitorial to an adversarial system of justice.

About the Author

Irina Reshetnikova
Federal Commercial Court of Ural District (Yekaterinburg, Russia)
Russian Federation

Professor of Civil Procedural Law at Ural State Law University, Chief of the Federal Commercial Court of the Ural District (32/37 Lenin av., Yekaterinburg, 620075, Russia


1. Cooper, Jeremy. Public Interest Law. Key Guide to Information Sources in Public Interest Law (Continuum International Pub. 1991).

2. Damaška, Mirjan R. The Faces of Justice and State Authority: A Comparative Approach to the Legal Process (Yale University Press 1986).

3. Jacob, Jack I.H., Sir. The Reform of Civil Procedural Law and Other Essays in Civil Procedure 24 (Sweet & Maxwell 1982).

4. Reshetnikova, Irina V. Simplified and Accelerated Proceedings in Civil Cases in Russia, 33(1) Civil Justice Quarterly 107 (2014).

5. Reshetnikova, Irina. 150 Years of Adversarial Civil Proceedings in Russia, 1(1) Russian Law Journal 40–45 (2013), available at < php/jour/article/download/58/54> (accessed May 18, 2015).

6. Weisbrod, Burton A., et al. Public Interest Law: An Economic and Institutional Analysis (University of California Press 1978).

7. Zander, Michael. A Matter of Justice: The Legal System in Ferment 140 (I.B. Tauris 1988).

8. Малышев К. Курс гражданского судопроизводства. Т. 1 [Malyshev K. Kurs grazhdanskogo sudoproizvodstva. T. 1 [Kronid Malyshev, 1 Civil Proceedings Treatise]] 359 (M.M. Stasyulevich 1876).

9. Нефедьев Е.А. Учебник русского гражданского судопроизводства [Nefed’ev E.A. Uchebnik russkogo grazhdanskogo sudoproizvodstva [Yevgeny A. Nefediev, Russian Civil Proceedings Textbook]] 32, 36–37, 40, 220–222, 255 n. 89 (Sovetskaya Kuban 2005).

10. Решетникова И. Молчание – знак согласия? // Юрист предприятия в вопросах и ответах. 2011. № 12. С. 16–18 [Reshetnikova I. Molchanie – znak soglasiya? // Yurist predpriyatiya v voprosakh i otvetakh. 2011. No. 12. S. 16–18 [Irina Reshetnikova, Silence Implies Consent?, 2011(12) In-House Lawyer in Questions and Answers 16–18]].

11. Решетникова И.В. Доказательственное право Англии и США [Reshetnikova I.V. Dokazatel’stvennoe pravo Anglii i SShA [Irina V. Reshetnikova, The Evidence Law of England and the USA] 48–55 (2nd ed., Gorodets 1999).

For citation:

Reshetnikova I. Judicial Reforms in Russia: 1864 to 2014. Russian Law Journal. 2015;3(2):109-118.

Views: 3660

ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)