Judicial Charters

The judicial process during the late 15th century in Russia, particularly including the Novgorod and Muscovite societies, is significantly different from the times of the Pravda Russkaia. From a first glance at both the judicial charters of Novgorod and Muscovite, such things including the structure of the documents and its intended audience differ substantially.

In both charters, the document is directed more towards the higher most positions of power in their society, such as the archbishopric if Novgorod the Great and Pskov, the Grand Prince, and the mayor, and their duties in terms of what is expected of them in a case. For instance in both judicial charters it states that evidence of some sort should be provided when a case is brought to court.

Yet what I found the most intriguing was the overall structure for the Muscovite judicial charter. While reading the judicial charter of the Muscovite society I found the steps in which they took to determine the most adequate outcome to be significantly similar to that of the judicial system in our modern day society. In particular, for example, the charter discusses in a land dispute between two groups it is first brought in front of a judge. From there, if the judge deemed necessary, the dispute or case would be brought fourth the Grand Prince.

After reading through this passage I find myself wondering why these societies were so advanced, in terms of judiciary systems, than most other societies during this time.

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