The Position and Role of So-called “Mixed Offices” in the Governorate Administration of the Kingdom of Poland after the January Uprising

Grzegorz Smyk

Abstract


The Russian model of supervision and control of administration was introduced in the Kingdom of Poland concurrently with the reorganisation of the governorate and district administration after the January Uprising. The supervisory functions were taken over by the newly established bodies of the governorate and district administration of individual sectors of ministerial administration, for which the ministers residing in St. Petersburg were the final decisive body. On the other hand, the abolition of the Council of State of the Kingdom of Poland in 1867 entailed the final liquidation of the administrative justice system based on the French model, which had operated on these lands since the times of the Duchy of Warsaw. Its tasks were taken over by so-called “mixed offices” which filled the resulting gap only partially. Unlike administrative courts, these offices formed an integral part of the governorate administration, and their clerical staff as well as the bureaucratic method of operation compromised their judicial independence. Moreover, the procedure for dispute resolution in these offices had the character of an intra-administrative procedure which did not employ the concept of a party, and its discretionary course excluded the possibility of applying the principles of adversarial process, openness to the public or dispositiveness. The peculiarity of “mixed offices” in the Kingdom of Poland, resulting solely from political reasons, was the reduction of their staffing only to the bureaucratic element and full subordination of their substantive and formal side of the proceedings to the governorate authorities. As a result, the judicial activity of “mixed offices” in administrative matters in the Kingdom of Poland was much more dependent on the current policies of the tsarist authorities represented and supervised directly by the governors than in the interior governorates of the Empire. The combination of these factors with the discretionary rules of intra-ministerial proceedings applied in these offices deprived inhabitants of the Kingdom of Poland of a guarantee of impartial defence of their rights and interests in disputes with the administration that was foreign and distrustful to them.


Keywords


administration; administrative judiciary; Kingdom of Poland; Russian Empire

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2019.28.1.133-159
Data publikacji: 2019-10-08 15:09:20
Data złożenia artykułu: 2019-01-11 10:37:40


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