(2001) JLP 46: 135-144
CUSTOM AND LAW IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY RELATIONS AMONG RUSSIAN PEASANTS DURING THE SECOND HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
The complex of laws operating in Russian peasant society was a dynamic combination of custom and written church and official law. An analysis of local court procedures, the results of peasant polls in the second half of the nineteenth century, and contemporary descriptions of Russian villages show that for some cases custom was the only source of law, for some custom essentially coincided with written law, and in some custom and written law were at variance. These may all be illustrated from cases concerning the rules applicable to pre-marital relations, personal relations between spouses, and intra-family property relations.