On January 31 (February 12), 1833 Nikolai I issued a manifesto on the installation of ‘The Code of laws of the Russian Empire’ (15 volumes) from January 1 (13), 1835. Intended to replace the outdated Ulozhenie of 1649, the Code was elaborated by a prominent statesman of the time Mikhail Mikhailovich Speransky.
Having issued in 1830 ‘The complete collection of laws of the Russian Empire’ covering the period from Sobornoye Unlozhenie of Alexei Mikhailovich till the death of the emperor Alexander I in 1825, Speransky began to make the Code of laws in effect. Special revision committees organized under the Ministries and General departments, were in charge of verifying whether an act will keep its force and if it does not contradict with other acts.
The Code of laws had two levels: the national Code of laws of the Russian empire, the provisions of which applied to the whole territory of the country; and the codes of local laws (civil law sources) representing some extracts from the national code and extending to the habitants of the certain local territories.
On January 19 (31), 1833 in the course of the State Council discussion on the presented ‘Code of laws’ it was decided to install it from January 1st, 1835 as the only right juridical code. For regulating the legislation M.M. Speransky was awarded with an order of the Saint-Andrew the First-Called and was given a title of count.
‘The Code of laws’ contained 42 thousand articles united into 8 sections which comprised 15 volumes. The laws were systemized by sectoral principle, not a chronological one as in ‘The complete collection of laws’. For each article of the Code was made a commentary which had a meaning of an explanation but did not have a law force. The first three volumes covered general laws; the fourth one contained the regulations on recruit and Zemstvo duties; the volumes 5 to 8 covered the regulations on different taxes and charges; volume 9 – the laws on the estates and their rights; volume 10 – the civil and boundary paths’ laws; volumes 11 and 12 – the regulations of credit institutions; 13 and 14 – the regulations on rules and orders; 15 – on criminal laws.
In 1842 and 1857 the Code of laws was completely reissued. Later were reissued just its particular volumes; addendums and amendments were published. In 1892 the Code was completed by another volume, the 16th, which covered the judicial regulations that took effect as a result of the legal reform of 1864. The last edition of the Code containing significant amendments was made in 1906.
Lit.: Баженова Т. М.; Кодан С. В.«Составить из всех многочисленных указов свод узаконений». К 175-летию издания свода законов российской империи // Чиновникъ. 2008. № 1 (53); То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://chinovnik.uapa.ru/en/issue/2008/01/13/?print; Верхоланцева Т. Ю. Свод законов Российской империи: история создания, структура, издания // Библиотековедение. 2009. № 2; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.rsl.ru/datadocs/Bibliotekovedenie_02_2009.pdf#page=38; Свод законов // Энциклопедический словарь / Под ред. проф. И. Е. Андреевского. Т. 57. СПб., 1900. С. 193; Свод Законов Российской Империи [Электронный ресурс] // Классика российского права. Б. д. URL: http://civil.consultant.ru/code/.
From the Presidential library materials:
Дело о Комитетах для обозрения Сводов с Высочайшими резолюциями и пометками Сперанского и его собственноручным всеподданнейшим докладом [Основное] : 1828-1834 гг. (РГИА. Ф. 1251. Оп. 1, часть 1. Д. 119-Основное);