Stuchka, Petr

Stuchka, Petr Ivanovich


(Pēteris Stučka). Born July 14 (26), 1865, in the Koknese volost (small rural district), presentday Stučka Raion, Latvian SSR; died Jan. 25, 1932, in Moscow. Soviet state and party figure. Cofounder of the Communist Party of Latvia (CPL). Member of the Communist Party from 1895.

The son of peasants, Stuchka graduated from the faculty of law of the University of St. Petersburg in 1888. He joined the revolutionary movement in the late 1880’s and was an editor of the newspaper Dienas lapa, the major ideological publication of the movement of the Latvian democratic intelligentsia. He was arrested and exiled on several occasions. Stuchka helped lead the First Congress of the Latvian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1904 and, when the party was renamed, helped direct the First Congress of the Social Democracy of the Latvian Territory in 1906. He was elected to the party’s Central Committee in 1904. He also attended the Stuttgart Congress of the Second International in 1907.

In 1907, Stuchka moved to St. Petersburg, where he contributed to Latvian Social Democratic publications, as well as the newspapers Zvezda and Pravda and the journals Prosveshchenie (Enlightenment) and Voprosy strakhovaniia (Problems of Insurance). After the February Revolution of 1917, he became a member of the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP(B) and of the executive committee of the Petrograd soviet. Stuchka was a delegate to the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference and the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B). He participated in the October Armed Uprising of 1917 in Petrograd. He was also a delegate to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets.

From November 1917 to 1918, Stuchka was people’s commissar of justice of the RSFSR (deputy people’s commissar of justice from March to August 1918) and a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. He was chairman of the Soviet Government of Latvia from December 1918 to 1920, deputy people’s commissar of justice of the RSFSR from 1919 to 1921, and chairman of the Supreme Court of the RSFSR from 1923 to 1932. Stuchka was a delegate to the Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth through Sixteenth Congresses of the ACP(B); he was elected a candidate member of the party’s Central Committee at the Seventh and Ninth congresses and a member of the Central Committee at the Eighth Congress. From 1920 to 1932 he served as chairman of the Foreign Office of the Central Committee of the CPL. He was a representative of the Central Committee of the CPL at the Comintern and a member of the Comintern’s Executive Committee. From 1924 to 1932 he was chairman of the International Control Commission of the Comintern. Stuchka was also a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR.

Stuchka was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor. He is buried on Red Square, at the Kremlin Wall. The Latvian State University and the city of Stuíka have been named for him, and a monument to him by the sculptor E. Melderis and the architect G. Melderis was unveiled in Riga in 1962.

Stuchka was the author of many works on the theory of state, law, and civil law. Although his theoretical writings contain several inaccuracies that were criticized in Soviet juridical literature, he was one of the first Soviet jurists to offer a Marxist critique of bourgeois jurisprudence and to affirm the revolutionary role of Soviet law in the struggle for the building of socialism. Stuchka was one of the founders of the Institute of Soviet Law, which he directed beginning in 1931. He was a professor and chairman of the department of civil law at Moscow State University and editor of the Encyclopedia of State and Law (vols. 1–3,1925–27; 2nd ed., 1929–30).


Kurs sovetskogo grazhdanskogo prava, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1927–31.
V bor’be za Oktiabr’: Sb. st. Riga, 1960.
Za Sovetskuiu vlast’ v Latvii (1918–1920): Sb. St. Riga, 1964.
Izbr. proizv. po marksistsko-leninskoi teorii prava. Riga, 1964.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch, 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 2, p. 475.)
P. Stuchka—revoliutsioner, myslitel’ i gosudarstvennyi deiatel’. Riga, 1965.
O teoretkheskom nasledii P. I. Stuchki v sovetskoi pravovoi nauke: Sb. st. Riga, 1965.
Abramov, A. U Kremlevskoisteny. Moscow, 1974.
Dauge, P. G. Stučkas dzive un darbs. Riga, 1958.