On August 27, 1760, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna issued a decree prohibiting public servants from taking bribes.
On August 27, 1760, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna issued a decree prohibiting public servants from taking bribes. “The insatiable thirst for self-interest has gone so far that some places established for justice have become a banquet, extortion and addiction – with the leadership of judges, and indulgence and omission – with approval for the lawless,” Elizabeth Petrovna reproached the officials. in the rank, transferred to another place, or fired.
In Russia, the border between a bribe and a wage has always been rather arbitrary. Until the eighteenth century, government officials lived thanks to “feedings,” that is, offerings from those whose problems they dealt with. The records of the Zemstvo elders on expenditures indicate in detail how much money, meat, fish, candles, pies, and other items useful in the household are “carried” to the governor, clerk, and other servants of the sovereigns. Such offerings were ordinary and unlawful. Even in the capital’s orders, where most of the employees received a salary, albeit a small one, “feeding from work” was an essential and completely legal source of bureaucratic welfare. For what we now call bribes, several names existed in the legal language of the 17th century. Moreover, if “honors” (preliminary gifts to the official “resolving the issue”) and “commemoration” (the so-called gift “according to the results”) were considered quite legitimate things, then for “promises”, that is, for breaking the law for a fee, they relied Physical punishment.
The first legislative restriction on corruption is Ivan III. His grandson Ivan the Terrible in 1561 introduced the Judicial Charter, which imposed sanctions in the form of the death penalty for receiving bribes by judicial officials of the local zemstvo administration.
Peter 1, in order to prevent bribery and other mercenary abuse of service, introduced a new procedure for civil service for governors who could not be in this position for more than two years. In the event that there was a written request from the residents of the city that this official continue to perform his duties. By a decree of August 23, 1713, Peter I introduced, along with taking a bribe, criminal liability for giving a bribe, and on December 24, 1714, Peter I issued a decree that introduced criminal liability for complicity in the commission of mercenary abuse of service and for failure to report the commission of these crimes.
In the 19th century, corruption was called “bribery” and “extortion” (the latter was considered the most severe form of bribery).
“bribery” – the acceptance by the official of a bribe, voluntarily offered, in the form of remuneration for the provision of an official service by an employee that does not go beyond his authority (Punishment – from a monetary penalty to dismissal from office)
“Extortion” – the adoption of remuneration by employees for actions that violate official duties. Extortion, that is, coercion of a bribe by the employees themselves, was recognized as the most severe degree of extortion.
The Bolsheviks in May 1918 issued a decree on bribery, providing for a five-year prison term and confiscation of property. At the same time, cases of bribery were transferred to the jurisdiction of revolutionary tribunals, as they were equated with counter-revolutionary activities. The 1922 Criminal Code imposed severe penalties for bribery up to the death penalty (article 114 of the Criminal Code of 1922). Subsequently, the norms on bribery were enshrined in the Criminal Codes of the RSFSR of 1926 and 1960.
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