Heritage of Centuries | 2019 | No. 1 (17) | Alexander Rozhkov


The Court and Cassation
Phenomenon in a Soviet Russia
in the Twilight of NEP: Microhistorical
Analysis of the Case


© Alexander Yu. Rozhkov

Dr. Sci. (National History), Assoc. Prof.,
Head, Department of Sociology
Kuban State University


UDC 94(47+57)<1920>-053.81

Аbstract: The Soviet judicial system of the 1920s is one of the most controversial issues in the social and political history of early Soviet society. It seems that the mechanism of functioning of the Soviet justice system considered more effectively in the methodological framework of microhistory. As an example of microanalysis, we have taken one criminal incident, described in details. The article describes and interprets the judicial and cassation practice in this “close-up” criminal case, which revealed the professional level of regional and central courts in Soviet Russia in the late 1920s. Conducted micro-historical research has determined a number of features of the legal system in the Soviet province at the end of the NEP, which had the fragile and extremely dependent from the power character. Particular case showed a high authority of the Cassation Board from the RSFSR and the legal profession. In general, this incident creates a slightly different idea of the Soviet legal system, contrary to the established view of the total disempowerment of convicts in the early Soviet society. However, it is difficult to conclude whether the above incident was a “normal exception” at the time without serial researches.

Keywords: 1920s, Soviet court, cassation, legal profession, microhistory, show trial,  Sindarovsky’s case, Krasnodar, Kuban.

Funding: This article was prepared with the support of the Russian Science Foundation in the framework of the research project no. 06-01-00430a «Youth and Power in a Changing Russia on the eve of the “Great Breakthrough”:  “Close-Up” Relationship», and ACLS Short — term Grants in the Humanities 2005-06 «The Relationship of Youth and Government in the Kuban in 1928 through the Prism of Microhistory: “The Case of G. Sindarovsky”».

Article information: Received on March 11, 2019, signed by the print, volume 1 / 2019 on March 27, 2019, published on March 28, 2019.

Full bibliographic reference to the article: Rozhkov, A. Yu., Fenomen suda i kassatsii v Sovetskoy Rossii na zakate nepa: mikroistoricheskiy analiz sluchaya [The Court and Cassation Phenomenon in a Soviet Russia in the Twilight of NEP: Microhistorical Analysis of the Case], Nasledie vekov, 2019, no. 1, pp. 54–66. http://heritage-magazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/2019_1_Rozhkov.pdf. Accessed Month DD, YYYY.



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