Code of Laws of the Russian Empire

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Code of Laws of the Russian Empire


(Svod Zakonov Rossiskoi Imperii), a collection of existing legislation, organized by subject.

Between editions of the code, yearbooks and summary volumes covering several years were published, indicating which articles had been abrogated or amended. After 1857 the code was never reprinted in toto; only individual volumes, called incomplete editions, were published. The incomplete edition of 1892 contained an additional, 16th volume on the judicial statutes. The code included neither the military and naval laws, nor the laws concerning the empire’s non-Russian borderlands (several special departmental and local codes were in force here), nor some of the laws on the government body that handled the affairs of the imperial court, on foreign affairs, and on the Orthodox faith.

The code’s various editions were unwieldy and were issued infrequently and in small quantities. In the late 19th century, therefore, unofficial editions of the code began to appear. The best came out in four volumes in St. Petersburg in 1913. After the fall of the autocracy in 1917, some legislative material in the code was reworked; however, the bulk of the articles remained unchanged and in force until the October Revolution of 1917.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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