How revolutionary was revolutionary justice? Legal culture in Russia across the revolutionary divide
Reason for embargo
Under temporary indefinite embargo pending publisher permission. 18-month embargo to be applied on publication
On 24 November 1917, the Bolsheviks published their vision for a new justice system. Abolishing all existing courts, they established local (later people’s) courts for crimes such as murder, theft and civil disputes, and revolutionary tribunals to combat threatening ‘counter-revolutionary’ crimes such as plots, revolts and sabotage. Both courts were instructed to rely on existing laws only insofar as they did not contradict new decrees or party programmes, and to use revolutionary consciousness to reach a verdict. Through this and subsequent decrees, the Bolsheviks intended to create a new legal culture for the revolutionary state.
In: Rethinking the Russian Revolution as Historical Divide. Edited by Matthias Neumann, Andy Willimott, chapter 2
Due for publication 30 November 2017
Place of publication