Russkaya Pravda of Yaroslav Mudryi, the origins and traditions of national legislation




first domestic legal code, Russian Pravda, the modern legal system


Problem setting. The emergence of the first national legal code Russkaya Pravda was associated with the name of Grand Prince Yaroslav Mudryi. Since the law is normative background of the whole legal system, scientific interest represents research of hereditary traits «legal rights» if Kievan Rus' and modern Ukraine. Although the level of law development and legal consciousness, the place in society life, learning values and legal conditions for a thousand years in our country have changed drastically, but remained from past times in succession important principles, traditions and institutions.

Recent research and publications analysis. The authors of fundamental monographs «Legal custom as a source of Ukrainian law» / By Edition of. I. B. Usenko (2006), «The legal system of Ukraine: history, status and prospects» : 5 t. Vol. 1 (2008), new articles in the book «Russkaya Pravda of Yaroslav Mudryi, the beginning of legislation of  Kievan Rus'» (2014 ) examined the sources of law of Kiev Rus, the use of customary law in the legal system of Ukraine. In this article attention is focused brief analysis on certain principles of succession and norms of institutes of the Russkaya Pravda (RP) of Yaroslav Mudryi and modern Codes of Ukraine and their interpretation in scientific comments.

Paper objective. «Truth» in Russia is understood as a law by common law justice. It is in the law of justice its universal and timeless value. Since the days of long RP customary law were on a par with the norms of written law. In Ukraine, the legal tradition is an additional source of law, its role is increasing in terms of expanding the scope of private law. The article analyzes the norms of articles Civil Code of Ukraine, the Family Code of Ukraine that provides, as in RP the application of customs, established in civil relations.

Paper main body. By comparing articled of ancient code with the relevant articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the author concludes: Old Russian and modern legislators consider the protection of human life as the major task, the same consider the actus reus of criminal act. RP is not only limited the use of blood revenge, but removed the death penalty from the list of punishments by princely court. This punishment was not allowed by the Criminal Code of Ukraine, thereby continuing the RP humane line in criminal law. Both legal acts, separated by a thousand years, settled two main objectives protection of public relations from criminal offenses, the prevention of crime. RP envisaged the protection of individual human rights - the boyars, freemen, even dependent people (villains) and slaves. The legislator aimed to establish principles of equality in the state as it was understood that time. In times of Yaroslav Mudryi, Yaroslavichey and Vladimir Monomakh, Rus' did not know persecution of people based on their religious beliefs, direct or indirect restriction of rights, or privileges on grounds of religious belief, gender, economic status or place of residence.

Conclusions. It is concluded that the historical type of the Russkaya Pravda and modern domestic legal system, despite the past millennium, in total reflects national traditions in legal understanding, evolution of legal consciousness and culture of the people, the principles of humanism, rule of law, legality, respect to human dignity etc. They reflect the continuity of the legal system of Ukraine initiated by customary law of Kievan Rus', Russkaya Pravda of Yaroslav Mudryi

Author Biography

В. М. Єрмолаєв, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University

Doctor of Law, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Law Sciences of UkraineUkrainian


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How to Cite

Єрмолаєв, В. М. (2015). Russkaya Pravda of Yaroslav Mudryi, the origins and traditions of national legislation. Problems of Legality, (129), 3–10.



Theory and history of state and law