Volost court

Volost court. A rural court for peasants in the Russian Empire. Volost courts were established in 1861 with the emancipation of the serfs. Until then, justice was administered by the landowners. Volost courts were composed of a president and from 3 to 11 judges, all of whom were elected by volost assemblies for a one-year term. They handled disputes and litigations between peasants involving sums of less than 100 rubles, and punished minor offenders. They also had the authority to mete out corporal punishment. The volost courts were abolished in 1918. (See also Court system.)

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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