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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter gives an overview of the development of early modern Russian law. During this period, Russian law was undergoing a definite modernization which intensified in the seventeenth and, particularly, in the eighteenth century. The law became more rational, predictable and efficient. Russia actively engaged in codification and systematization of law, and that led to the more regular application of procedure and better lawyering. Russian law quickly adapted to the social, economic and political challenges, as it was under constant revision. Legal rules became more uniform and unvarying in their application. The Russian legal system grew to be hierarchical and bureaucratic, staffed by professionals via either practice or education. Due to these changes, the legal reforms of the nineteenth century allowed the Russian Empire to become a Rechtsstaat, although it was widely criticized and often even denied by contemporaries and scholars.

Keywords: Russian law, modernization, autocracy, procedure, criminal justice, legal profession, Russia

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