Herald of Civil Procedure

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Impact of Pagan Religious Idea of Revenge on Old East Slavic Civil Procedure

M.E. Poskrebnev,
Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor of Department of Civil, 
Commercial and Administrative Procedure of the Russian Academy of Justice

This article analyzes the influence of pagan ideas about revenge on the rules governing the proof and evidence in old Russian civil proceedings. A significant impact of revenge on material relationships in ancient Russia allowed us to assume that the procedure rules does not escape this influence. Indeed, it can be found in the rules governing the proof and evidence. Based on the truth of the nature of the evidence test (water, fire, etc.) may be established, under the influence of the pagan Slavs and their understanding of faith revenge. Revenge is the offense as much as with good act: both in the nature of things requires requital; offense had retaliatory offense, like the good deed leads to reciprocal gratitude on the part of the recipient, and the rules of the old Court, formed under the influence of pagan ideas of revenge, the Slavs were called to prevent the mixing of requitals. The judicial duel is a means in which revenge was realized most clearly, therefore, encounter a measure does not pose difficulties, practically all of the known rules governing the proof, one way or another, are proportionality (peer takes fight with equal), i.e. not allowing original superiority of one of the parties. 

Keywords: ancient Slavs; paganism; vengeance; nature; old Russian civil litigation; Russian Justice; the right of retribution; measure; litigant; the judicial duel; oath; the ordeal by iron; the ordeal by water; means of proof; evidence; witness statements.


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Information about the author 

   Poskrebnev M.E. (Moscow) – Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor of Department of Civil, Commercial and Administrative Procedure of the Russian Academy of Justice (117418, Moscow, Novocheremushkinskaya st., 69, bldg. «A»; e-mail: raj-priem@mail.ru).

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M.E. Poskrebnev