Research of court evidence of the time of Kievan Rus accomplished by professor O. I. Paliumbetskyi (1811-1897)

Keywords: history of law, O. I. Paliumbetskyi, Kievan Rus, Russkaia Pravda, court evidence


The objective of the article is to highlight the scientific work of Professor O. I. Paliumbetskyi in the field of the history of Old Russian law. This objective is specified in the following tasks: to show how the witnesses testimonies were evaluated by scholars; what significance he gave to probations in the system of court evidence of the time of Kievan Rus; where he saw the peculiarities of the Russian legislation regarding court evidence in comparison with the German one.

The scientific novelty of the article is the fact that it first reveals the essence of the scientific contribution of O. I. Paliumbetskyi to the study of the judicial process of the Kievan Rus period.

The author has demonstrated what kind of court evidence of this time he considered the basic, in particular, the author has revealed his understanding of the value of witness testimony (including outcomes and obituaries), probations and oaths. The scholar has stressed that the development of justice largely depended on the formation of statehood in Russia – there was the evolution of the legal process with its genesis. O. I. Paliumbetskyi drew attention to the fact that the distinctive feature of the most ancient laws of many peoples was the identity of private and criminal law, according to which all decisions regarding private relations between individuals were at the same time criminal law, and certain punishment was provided for their violation. The researcher has shown that the testimony of witnesses in Old Russian law served as the basis of the whole system, and all other evidence was related to it. Considering the significance of the oath in legal proceedings of that period, O. I. Paliumbetskyi noted that the right to prove by the oath in the old Russian laws equally belonged to both the indictor and the accused. The first used it when he was not able to provide any evidence, even imperfect, and the latter used the oath as a mean of purging from the evidence against him. The scholar pointed out that the fight between the parties, according to the Russian law, was used in the absence of evidence of a plaintiff and, moreover, served as evidence for a defendant, who could replace it with other means of defense, except for the oath. O. I. Paliumbetskyi came to the conclusion that the influence of German legislation on the Old Russian one in relation to the system of court evidence was insignificant.


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Author Biography

V. A. Grechenko, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs

Department on social and humanitarian studies;
Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor.


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How to Cite
Grechenko, V. A. (2018) “Research of court evidence of the time of Kievan Rus accomplished by professor O. I. Paliumbetskyi (1811-1897)”, Law and Safety, 69(2), pp. 23-28. doi: 10.32631/pb.2018.2.03.

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