The research is on the ‘Russian Justice’ (Russkaya Pravda) – a monument of medieval law compiled in Russia. Later, T. wrote ‘Manual for Studying the Russian Justice’ on its basis (1953).
T. identified three main types of this monument: 1) Brief Justice, 2) Extended Justice, and 3) Abridged Justice. He noted that the source had survived in more than 100 copies of the thirteenth – eighteenth centuries, usually as a part of chronicles or collections of legal or other sources. He noted that historians more often used the Troitsky copy of the fourteenth century than the Synodal one, which was preferable for linguists. In the Pushkinsky copy, there are quite many Novgorod features.
One of the most important tasks that, according to T., was to establish the time of compilation of the text of the Russian Justice. A number of articles of both Brief and Extensive versions of the Justice contain different terminology. In this regard, the question arises whether this source was compiled of a number of others, heterogeneous and different in time of their origin.
The author identified two main historiographic trends associated with disputes about the legal nature of the Russian Justice. The first one considered it the result of the legislative activity of Princes Yaroslav, Izyaslav, and Vladimir Monomakh. However, the author was skeptical about that point of view, since versions of the Russian Justice are difficult to fit into the framework of ideas about official legislative monuments. Copies of the monument abound with many typos and omissions; besides, the haphazard arrangement of the source's articles also, in his opinion, indicates the absence of a centralized initiative for that compilation. However, T. came to the conclusion that the Justice was not a legislative monument in the modern sense of the word, but a legal collection.
Another trend in historiography attributed compilation of the Justice to some private initiative. T. noted that the arguments of those historians in their critical part were convincing, but nothing more. However, many questions remained unsolved. For example, what was the reason for the compilation of such collection of legal rules by an alleged ‘judge’, taking into account that they become a part of Kormchaya, Merylo Pravednoe, and various Chronicles. Besides, T. drew attention to the laboriousness of compiling the Russian Justice, which was difficult to explain with some private initiative. It was also difficult, in his opinion, to associate it with multiple rewriting and completing of the source.
Meanwhile, the researcher himself believed that such a distinction between ‘private’ and ‘official’ origins of the Russian Justice was ‘scholastic’. As an example, he cited the Code of Law of Tsar Constantine, known as ‘The Law of Judgment for People’. He pointed out that if the time of the compilation of the Brief Justice was presumably established as the elebenth century, then, it was much more difficult to solve the question of the time of the emergence of the Extended version.