EXPERT DISCRIMINATION IN THE POLES JUDICIAL REFORM IN 1864 ON THE RIGNT-BANK UKRAINE

MAKSYMOV O.V.

  • Big reforms of 60-70-s of the 19th century became maybe the last possibility of Russian Empire to change to a new stage of development. After the abolition of the serfage the judicial reform took a special place in the part of the most further changes of the political system. Professional support of its realization played not the last role in the context of the reform application, it concerned not only capitals, but also the distant parts of the empire. This point was especially sharp in Right-bank Ukraine. Owing to the absence of understanding among the regional elite (Poles), the south-western territory was on the verge of the “personnel shortage” one day before the judicial reform. Under these conditions, dilemma for the authorities was either to enlist the support of a rather unpredictable Polish nobility or to make “import” of officials from other provinces of the empire. The second option seemed to be more attractive, because thus the autocracy could rely on trained and loyal employees. The establishment of the University of St. Vladimir in Kyiv in 1834 did not bring the desired result, “russification” of the land still did not occur, the Polish influence among students and teachers were significant, especially at a law faculty. Replacement of the teaching staff in the 40-50’s of the 19th century on the immigrants from Russia contributed only to the reduction of the prestige of the Faculty of Law. Various prohibitions, that regulated the number of Polish students, led to the outflow of the latter in the educational establishments of Kharkiv and Odessa. Since opening in 1871 the magistrates courts, the active phase of implementation of the judicial reform began in the South West region, in 1880 it was extended, since this time the rest of the institutions (district courts, chambers) started working. Example of Zhytomyr district court clearly testified ignoring of the Poles in its personnel filling. Reasons were in secret orders of the Ministry of Justice, which stated that the Poles were forbidden to hold positions in the newly established judicial bodies of Southwest provinces. Under these conditions, the latter were forced either to move to other provinces or to practice advocacy. Situation has not changed significantly the next years. The number of Poles who graduated from the University of St. Vladimir increased, but their involvement to the judiciary of the region did not happen. Taking into consideration the above said we can state that the ethnic and religious criteria in a Right bank were dominant during the selection of officials, regional elite in such a way was under professional discrimination, which in its turn led to the “staff shortage” and “import” of officials from other provinces of Russian empire.

  • MAKSYMOV O.V. – Zhytomyr state university named after Ivan Franko, the instructor of the chair of history of Ukraine (Ukraine).

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