Podillia Provincial Ordinary Court of Appeal (1818-1840): Establishing, Staffing, and Social Portrait
The paper states that Alexander I continued the policy of dialogue with the Polish local elite: for the sake of loyalty, the supreme power gave several concessions. The Polish judicial tradition was preserved (in Russian provinces general surveying was carried out on other principles), an important element of which was to carry out the land surveying of local landlords and tenants. At the request of the nobility, the authorities created a more efficient surveying system, first at the county level, and from 1818 – the provincial. The enlarged staff of county surveying courts sped up the process of estates surveying. The final decisions of Podilia Provincial Ordinary Court of Appeal had to reduce tension in the relations of the county gentry and complete the process of surveying.
The composition of the court was: the Head elected for three years, 12 judges and appointed officials. The Head of the Provincial Ordinary Court of Appeal, obviously, not without the assistance of local authorities, was an experienced, wealthy official who had shown his loyalty. However, judges, mostly, were young and inexperienced wealthy nobles, some of whom accepted the service as conscription. Analysis of blank forms allows getting information about age, property, education, career path, professionalism and marital status of the judiciary. For the preservation of state property during the surveying of private estates, the court included also former officials, elected under pressure of the authorities. The court officials were young poor nobles who had the appropriate education to perform their duties. For certain categories (county officials and land surveyors), the authorities set out qualification requirements: training in specialized educational institutions. To save money Supreme power underfinanced the Provincial Ordinary Court of Appeal. Only since 1825, the situation started to improve, but in general, the salary was insufficient (for the sake of justice it should be noted that some clerks chose the court and not the advocacy). The state, in response to the loyalty of the elite, allowed the Polish nobility to regulate land relations between private landowners and land users independently but did not allow the loss of state property.
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