Samoilenko O. O.
Samoilenko O. O. A complete collection of laws of the Russian Empire - as an example of the classic incorporation of legislation
The article is devoted to the unique incorporation of legislation – the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire. The main reasons for the creation of the Collection are analyzed. Until the nineteenth century, the latest systematization of Russian legislation was the publication of the Sobornoye Ulozhenie of 1649. It was for the first time in the practice of Russian legislation printed in the printing house and sent to the sites. Having come to power, Nicholas I, in January 1826, created the second branch of the royal chancellery, headed by the actual State Councilor MA. Balugiansky who was instructed to carry out the ordering of the current legislation as soon as possible. Up to that time, ten codification commissions were already in operation, but their work was vain, until the outstanding commissioner M. M. Speransky became a member of a new commission. According to Speransky’s plan, the First Complete Collection of the laws of the Russian Empire had to contain all Russian legislation for the period from the publication of the Sobornoye Ulozhenie of 1649 and to December 12, 1825. Structurally, the First Complete Collection consisted of 46 volumes, among them 40 volumes of legislative acts and 6 additions (v. 41– index of chronological register; v. 42 - index of alphabetical register; v. 43–45 – books of staffs and tariffs; v.46 – book of blueprints and drawings).
The Second Collection included Russian legislation during the reign of Nicholas I and Alexander II (December 12, 1825 to March 1, 1881), and there were 60 legislative decrees. It was also defined that all 55 volumes of the Second Collection should be published annually and should cover all the legal regulations issued in the previous year. The Second Collection consisted of 61928 acts, arranged strictly chronologically, according to the time of their approval, and it had a serial numbering of articles from the first to the last volume. On April 5, 1830, a royal rescript was issued, according to which the volumes of the Complete Collection of Laws were to be sent to higher and central state institutions and to provincial offices.
The third edition contained 33 volumes and included 40 thousand legislative acts, approved from 1881 to 1913 years. It was annually published till 1916. All the volumes of the Third Complete Collection consisted of two parts: legislative acts were published in one part, and annexes and additions in the second, and both parts contained alphabetic and chronological indexes. For the first time the huge wealth of Russian legislation was opened to science, the Collection showed a number of documentary monuments that characterize the most vivid moments of Russian history from the 17th to the first quarter of the 19th century. The Complete Collection made available for examination huge legal material, known before only by a narrow circle of officials. It contributed to the formation of the legal system, and had a significant influence on the development of jurisprudence. Both achievements and drawbacks of the Collection are revealed.