Priežastys, dėl kurių nutrūkdavo Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės pavietų žemės ir pilies teismų veikla XVIII amžiaus antroje pusėje

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Priežastys, dėl kurių nutrūkdavo Lietuvos Didžiosios Kunigaikštystės pavietų žemės ir pilies teismų veikla XVIII amžiaus antroje pusėje
Alternative Title:
Reasons for interruptions in the work of the land and castle courts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the second half of the 18th century
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe Second Lithuanian Statute consolidated the administrative and judicial reforms carried out in 1564–1566, a period in the process of which land and castle courts had been set up in the districts of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. These courts had to deal with almost all of the cases concerning the local gentry. Studies show that in the first half of the 16th century, these courts functioned on a regular enough basis; their activities were interrupted only by urgent state affairs (such as the Seimas activity or wars), outbreaks of an epidemic or the death of any of the land court officers. Later, however, the work of the district courts was not as effective. Because of the political crisis in the first half of the 18th century, the majority of districts failed to elect new judicial officers. The year 1764 marks an important reform carried out in the Seimas, changing the working hours and the composition of courts (the number of judges was increased). This was an attempt to deal with the problem of the lack of quorum, because, from then on, even if two court officials were absent, the remaining three could reach a verdict. However, the noblemen’s complaints, found in the GDL Supreme Tribunal case books, indicate that very frequently the district courts did not operate in a proper manner during the second half of the 18th century.The main reasons were: frequent judges used to be either elected as justices of the highest state courts, appointed as representatives to the Seimas, used to be delegated to various commissions or used to be engaged in other activities; the judges were appointed for life and never gave up their posts, even in spite of illness or old age. Sometimes, the work of the court was discontinued owing to the fact that litigants were not prepared, and the judges were summoned to the Supreme Tribunal of the GDL with accusations of judicial misconduct. Also, the work of the courts used to be interrupted because of the gaps in law: after imposing the suspension on judges, which deprived the court of the quorum to consider the case, it used to be referred to the GDL Supreme Tribunal or the Permanent Council, where sessions were not held at that time. It was also unclear whether the court could function during a concrete session, having not commenced the work in time fixed by the law. Some of the reasons that caused the inactivity of the courts were eliminated by the four-year Seimas. [From the publication]

2020-02-02 18:47:06
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