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Serving Themis and Society

Serving Themis and Society
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October 29 – January 10, 2020
room 207b

A thematic exhibition titled “Serving Themis and Society: the 190th anniversary of the outstanding Belarusian lawyer Vladimir Spasovich” is opened in the legal information hall (207 b), from October 29 to January 10.

This year marks the 190th anniversary of the talented lawyer, speaker, writer, publicist and critic Vladimir Spasovich. He was born in Rechitsa, Minsk Province, in 1829. He received his primary education at the Minsk Gymnasium, from which he graduated with a gold medal in 1845. Since 1849, after graduating from the Faculty of Law in St. Petersburg, he had worked as an official in the Chamber of the Criminal Court. At the age of 22, he defended his master's thesis in international law. Certain provisions of his dissertation "On the Law of the Neutral Flag and the Neutral Cargo" were used in the Paris declarations of 1856. Legal scholar K. Kavelin recommended him for a post at Department of Criminal Law, St. Petersburg University. In 1863, he published a textbook of the Russian criminal law, which brought him fame. After the publication, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Law.

Since 1866, Spasovich had devoted himself to the legal profession. One of the best lawyers of that time, he for many years had been elected to the board of jury attorneys of the St. Petersburg Judicial Chamber. He amazed the audience with the power of the word, the elegance of expositions, the depth of erudition, and the skillful use of comparisons. Spasovich’s profound, truly encyclopedic knowledge was his powerful weapon in a judicial duel. His guiding principle was that the gift of free speech was granted to a lawyer to facilitate the fate of the defendant and should not be used to disseminate criminal or antisocial ideas.

Having devoted forty years to advocacy, Vladimir Spasovich combined it with literary and scientific activities. His critical essays analyze the writing of Russian and Western authors: Pushkin, Lermontov, Mickiewicz, Sienkiewicz, Byron, Goethe, Schiller, Shakespeare and others. He also participated in the publication of the first written collection of Polish laws, Volumina Legum, and worked on the preparation of a critical edition of the Lithuanian Statute, but the latter, due to the closure of the printing house, had not been achieved.

Vladimir Spasovich was also a member of the Psychiatric Partnership at the Russian Military Medical Academy. Ten volumes of his collected works are devoted to the most diverse branches of knowledge, such as human psychophysiology and more.

For about 190 years, the work of Vladimir Spasovich has remained a source of training in oratory, rhetoric, criminology, criminal law and process, civil law, as well as the moral principles of legal activity.

The exhibition is of interest to legal scholars, practicing lawyers, university teachers, graduate students, undergraduates, students of legal specialties.

The exposition includes more than 70 publications: books, brochures, periodicals, abstracts of dissertations in Russian and Polish.

Thematic areas:

  • The bibliography of Vladimir Spacovich:
    • legal publications (monographs, publications prepared in collaboration, judicial speeches);
    • literary critics and journalism (articles in magazines, monographs, publications prepared in collaboration).
  • Materials on the biography and literary heritage of Vladimir Spasovich.

The opening hours of the exhibition correspond to the library’s opening hours.
Admission is by library card or by ticket of the library's social and cultural center. Information and tickets may be obtained at the registration desk.

For more info: (+375 17) 293 27 28.

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