The emergence and development of the Russian Advokatura, 1864-1905
This dissertation examines the emergence and development of the Russian advokatura (legal profession) between 1864 and 1905. Unlike past historical works, which have concentrated on the activities of a few prominent defence attorneys in the major political trials, this dissertation focuses on the advokaturas development as an independent, self-governing, profession. Such an approach reveals that contrary to received wisdom, the advokatura's professional evolution was a long, arduous, complicated process, by no means complete at the time of its premature demise. The Russian advokatura traces its origins back to the Judicial Reforms of 1864; prior to that time, Russia's legal practitioners existed as an amorphous mass, where virtually every citizen had the right to act as an attorney. The Judicial Reforms created a new, western-style advocate - the sworn attorney and his assistant, the attorney-in-training - as well as a new, autonomous institution - the regional Bar Council - which was to supervise the professional activities of a given region's sworn attorneys. Yet as this dissertation shows, the Judicial Reforms did more than simply introduce a modern advokatura to Russia; these reforms also represented a critical experiment with Russia's existing social structure, an unprecedented, largely unpremeditated attempt by the autocracy to take the western image of a 'liberal' profession and somehow adapt it to Russia's existing hierarchical soslovie (estate) system. For political and social reasons, however, the advokatura quickly proved incongruous with Russia's traditional soslovie order; as a result, the autocracy introduced a series of counter-reforms in 1874 which sharply restricted the professional development of the sworn attorneys and attempted to transform the existing advokatura into a more conventional soslovie. At approximately the same time, the autocracy created yet another branch of the Russian legal profession - the private attorneys. Therefore, during the course of its lifetime, the Russian advokatura consisted of multiple sections - sworn attorneys, private attorneys, attorneys-in-training - plus the descendants of the pre-reform legal practitioners, commonly known after 1864 as underground advocates. Each of the above subdivisions will be examined in this dissertation in order to gain a greater appreciation of the advokatura's overall professional development as well as the numerous obstacles that were placed in its path. At the same time, this dissertation will also examine the advokatura's impact on Russia's emerging legal culture as well as its attempts to gain more political influence. Such an analysis reveals that despite some significant gains, Russia's entire legal system - not just the advokatura - was seriously undermined and devalued by its incompatibility with the political and social order, constructed by the autocracy.