Rominskyi Yevhen

Yearly journal of scientific articles Pravova derzhava Volume 31 (2020), 201-212 p.

Rominskyi Yevhen. Some features of the private treaties of Old Rus of the princely era as sources of law

Introduction. The article gives an assessment, from the point of view of law, of the development of the Old Rus private legal acts as a source of law, the attention is drawn to the social and legal causes of its evolution.

The aim of the article. The research proposes to apply the existing theoretical developments on the role of the treaty as a source of law in pre- and early-state societies to the information about the private legal acts of Old Rus of the princely era. It also covers the development of written private legal acts in the aforementioned days under the influence of ideas about law and legislation of the time.

Methods and results. In the last hundred years, the national and Soviet legal sciences have paid particular attention to the problem of contractual relations in potestary societies. Concepts have been developed on the role of the treaty as a leading source of regulating the relations between particular strata (tribes, tribes, communities, social states, etc.) before the emergence and strengthening of the state. It is noted that the normativity of such treaties was provided by the very fact of their recognition by the state (court) as proper sources. In turn, in the conditions of weakness of legislative regulation, the treaties acted not so much as acts of enforcement, as they combined several features inherent in different types of acts: private and public-law, including rulemaking. Such features were especially inherent in the treaties of the medieval era.

These theoretical provisions can be combined with the available information about the social system, law and acts of Old Rus of the princely era, that is, the period from the rise of the East Slavic proto-state formation of the Rurik princes and to the middle of the XIV century. when social processes in the Old Rus began to evolve dynamically under the influence of external and internal factors. The rapid progress of the study of ancient Russian heritage by special historical disciplines, such as archeology, sigillography, diplomacy, etc., contributes to such research. The emergence of new primary sources allows us to review the earlier ideas about the nature of an ancient private act and its significance in the coverage of the historical and legal reality of Old Rus of the princely era.

Conclusions. Particular attention is paid to conciliation treaties (ryadnye gramoty) in comparison with other private legal acts. Of particular interest is the consolidation in their texts of public-law sanctions unknown to other sources. The assumption is made about the origin of such sanctions from a certain written legal text, which has led to the widespread geographical distribution of such rare documents. The characteristic of princely legislation is given, in particular the weight is given to its extreme personification, when the acts of one prince were not of fundamental importance to the new one. Attention is also paid to the problem of unreliable obedience and the ways to solve it.

Key words: Kievan Rus, Old Rus, Medieval Law, Old Rus Law, Treaty, Private Legal Act, Source of Law.

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