Domanial jurisdiction

Domanial jurisdiction. During the Middle Ages this term referred to the plenitude of rights enjoyed by landowners vis-à-vis tenants on domanial lands. In residual form these rights survived until the abolition of serfdom. The principal rights of the lord (Latin: dominus) were the receipt of payment in money, in kind, or in labor, and the administration of justice to his subjects. This private court, from which there was no appeal, was the origin of the domanial court, which developed as a form of public administration of justice executed by the lord. Domanial jurisdiction prevailed in Ukraine under the rule of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The revolt of Hetmen Bohdan Khmelnytsky (see Cossack-Polish War) did away with domanial jurisdiction, but it was revived towards the end of the 17th and at the beginning of the 18th century in the Hetman state, at first in relation to peasants on monastic property (see Church peasants), then to peasants on land owned by Cossack starshyna and Cossack soldiers. Under Habsburg rule in the Austrian Empire domanial jurisdiction was applied to peasants on domanial lands in Galicia beginning in 1722 and in Bukovyna from 1774. Taxes paid by lords on domanial lands were considerably less than those on peasant property. Domanial jurisdiction was limited under Joseph II towards the end of the 18th century and finally abolished in 1848.

Vasyl Markus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]

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