Shevchuk A. Judiciary and Society of Right-Bank Ukraine at the End of the XVIIIth – the First Third of the XIXth century.

Українська версія

Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc)

State registration number


Applicant for


  • 07.00.01 - Історія України


Specialized Academic Board

Д 26.235.01

Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


This dissertation provides a comprehensive account of the function and place of the judiciary in the life of the Right-Bank community in Ukraine, which formed an integral judicial network within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The research demonstrates that the local population adopted the Lithuanian Statute and the Sejm constitutions to clarify controversial property issues, resolve social conflicts, and establish the order of coexistence in the region, having reconciled with Russian control. The dissertation presents a systematic overview of domestic and international historiography on the research topic, identifies and introduces into scientific circulation a significant array of unpublished sources from seven Ukrainian archive institutions. It has been shown that by seizing the Right-Bank territories, the Russian Empire acquired a European class court system with a developed specialization of courts for the nobility. However, in need of support from other social strata, courts for all classes of the free population were established under the "Institutions for the Administration of the Provinces of the All-Russian Empire" (1775). Paul I’s accession to power promoted more reliable understanding between the supreme power and the local elite by restoring some elements of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth judicial procedure (county and podkomorsky courts, the Polish language, the Third Lithuanian Statute, and the Sejm constitutions), that greatly facilitated the integration of the region. Russia’s flexible policy allowed the nobility to feel their importance. The main demand of the local nobility was the settlement of land relations inside the Right-Bank community. Therefore, Paul I restored podkomorsky courts to set up the borders of estates. The supreme power normally avoided interfering with the private owner's demarcation procedure, but showed firmness if the process involved the state with its estates or the Russian aristocracy. As part of the ongoing loyalty-strengthening strategy, Alexander I established a border court system at the request of the nobility of the Podolsk province. A separate vertical of judicial power was created for the townspeople involving the Jewish population, which guaranteed the loyalty of merchants and burghers.


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