To Avoid Unnecessary Red Tape: Vasily Tatishchev’s Proposals on Streamlining Court Proceedings
Vasily Tatishchev is known not only as an outstanding statesman, but also as a scientist who stood at the origin of many sciences. He gained fame as a legal scholar, an expert on the legislation of foreign countries and his homeland. Unlike any of his contemporaries, he reflected on the role of laws in the development of a country, formulated requirements for their content, raised the question of their codification, took the initiative to draft bills, and identified and prepared important legislative documents for publication. The previously unknown document presented in this article makes it possible to talk about Tatishchev’s attempt on behalf of the state to resolve another important issue, the remuneration of judges and clerical officers by introducing payments dependent on the total amount of the claim, the volume of prepared court documents, and their varieties. The author proves Tatishchev’s authorship in the development of such proposals, explaining the reasons for their appearance in terms of the upcoming reform of the plant management system based on bills developed by Tatishchev between 1734 and 1735: these were meant to regulate the relationship between the state and owners of private factories and the powers of the crown administration in state enterprises. The document adds to the existing idea of Tatishchev as a connoisseur of Russian legislation, his deep understanding of problems connected with the activities of judicial institutions, and his attempt to introduce remuneration principles enshrined in Swedish and German legislation into Russian legal practice. The implementation of these proposals would help expedite the adoption of judicial decisions and guarantee judges and clerical servants decent pay. The significance of the proposals formulated by Tatishchev cannot be overemphasised: there was hardly anyone else in Russia who was capable of offering a whole system of monetary compensation for those involved in organising court trials and drawing up documents, demonstrating deep detailed knowledge of judicial documentation.
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