The jury in Ukraine: historical and legal aspects (For the 150th anniversary of the Judicial Reform 1864)

The article deals with the historical and legal origins of the jury in Ukraine, highlighted its main stages: 1) the first stage of the period of Kievan Rus in the judicial system when there were vervni (community-based courts), the institution of «Judicial men» was the examination procedure for civil and criminal cases involving members of the local community, the use of purification sworn, different tests – ordeal (Dei Judicium) in deciding the guiltiness of the defendant. One of the oldest forms of public participation in the administration of justice were veche (public assembly); 2) the second phase of the background of the jury in Ukraine falls on a day the Polish-Lithuanian domination of the Ukrainian lands at the end of XIV – first half ХVІІ century; 3) Ukrainian National Revolution of 1648, the process of state-building and Republican statehood initiated the new, third stage, when the process of state-building created own judicial system – the General Court, regimental, centesimal and community (village) courts; 4) next, the fourth stage in the history of the jury in Ukraine was connected with the conduct of the Russian Empire Judicial Reform in 1864 and the introduction and operation of this institution of legal proceedings in the Ukrainian lands. At first Judicial Reform was based on the principles of separation of the judiciary from the legislative, executive and administrative, independence and immovability of judges, introduced All estates court and the institute of juries in district courts. The District Court was the court of first instance in all civil and criminal cases that were beyond the jurisdiction of magistrates courts. Final pages in the history of the formation and development of the court with the participation of the people in the judicial system
of Ukraine were connected with the era of the National Liberation Struggle 1917–1920; 5) With the declaration and building of independent democratic state of Ukraine there were launched a new, modern stage in the long history of the jury. Ukrainian lawmakers on a new qualitative modern level of consolidated and developed the domestic and foreign traditions and experiences of this form of people participation in the justice system, made them the important part of the current judicial reform in Ukraine. Institutes of people’s assessors and juries may affect positively to democratization of the judicial system and strengthen public confidence to judiciary and judges, believe in justice and law. Main attention of the article was focused on the analysis of the provisions of legal regulations in 1864, the Soviet legislation on People’s Court, the restoration of the jury in current Legislation in force.