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10 April 2020

Church judicial process in the Ukrainian Hetman state (Zaporizke Viisko): analysis of judiciary practice

East European Historical Bulletin
Church judicial process in the Ukrainian Hetman state (Zaporizke Viisko): analysis of judiciary practice

The article focuses on the analysis of the judiciary practice against the church and faith during the period of Ukrainian Hetman state (Viisko Zaporizke). The judiciary practice is preserved in the court books, the Lithuanian metrics and the archival materials, in order to find out the features of the time trial, in particular, and the church law in general. The research methodology. Having applied the necessary methodological means, namely: dialectical, axiological, historical and philosophical, systemic, functional methods; formal-legal, systemic-structural, genetic, historical functional, comparative legal and historical legal methods, there has been investigated and generalized the experience of reviewing the cases on the crimes against the church and the faith under the conditions of the formation of the Ukrainian national state, founded by Hetman B. Khmelnytskyi. The scientific novelty consists in elucidating the peculiarities of considering the cases against the faith and the church in Ukrainian Hetman state, establishing mitigating circumstances that contributed to the reduction of punishment or the release. Conclusions. In the article it has been confirmed that after the end of the National Liberation War of the Ukrainian people in the second half of the XVIIth century the competence of the church courts was not defined at the legislative level. In fact, the church courts considered only their own internal church affairs, and the crimes against the faith and the church belonged to the general jurisdiction of secular Cossack or magistrate courts. It has been traced the reception of the legal traditions that existed during the Rus era and remained their validity under the conditions of Ukrainian Hetman state existence. Because in the second half of the XVIIth century in Ukraine there continued to be used water testing as the form of evidence, genetically inherited from the legal system of the Rus state. Consequently, the continuity of Ukrainian law has been proved. It has been confirmed that the legal responsibility that followed the crimes committed against the church and faith had its peculiarity in connection with the need to reconcile the final court sentence with the requirements of the injured party. There have been revealed the cases of mitigation and abolition of the sanctions in case of the absence of the categorical claims and demands of the victim and the correspondent petitions from the representatives of the clergy and the community. It has been revealed that the crime cases against religion, family and morals could be considered by any court, regardless of their hierarchy in the vertical of this branch of government, despite a number of the judicial institutions that functioned in Ukraine.

Source: Zakharchenko P., Matselyukh I. (2019) Church judicial process in the Ukrainian Hetman state (Zaporizke Viisko): analysis of judiciary practice. East European Historical Bulletin. 12: 8–16

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