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Professor V. S. Yakushev, a founder of the Ural school of the civil and economic law



Professor V. S. Yakushev, a founder of the Ural school of the civil and economic law

The book contains the proceedings of Vasily Stepanovich Yakushev, a renowned Russian scholar, talented educationist and research manager. He is also recognized as one of the founders of the Sverdlovsk school of civil law.

Yet let's open and turn the leaves of his biography. Vasily Stepanovich was born in a rural family on July 23, 1922 in the village of Shutikha, the Katay area of Kurgan region. He was proud of his social set-up and during conversations he would fondly describe the tough peasants' life and labor. It is not by chance that thus far he preserved a great industriousness and reverence for the country. Hence where your worldly (read: peasant's) wisdom might come from, our dear teacher and favorite mentor.

In 1929 his parents moved to the city of Sverdlovsk. Between 1931 and 1941 he studied in elementary and high school and finished 10 grades before the World War II.

On July 16, 1941 (before he turned 19) he was called up to the Red Army where he studied in the military school. His first immersion into the military combat occurred on December 5, 1941 near Moscow. He was a squadron commander and today he is in rank of senior lieutenant. On May 17, 1944 he was heavily wounded in Romania and was hospitalized until September 1945. In July 1945 he was invalidated out of service. That is the short and quite modest life story of those years.

With reluctance has Vasily Stepanovich reflected upon his war and postwar past. It is this reluctance which makes the lines below so rare and interesting: "On May 17, 1944 I was heavily wounded in Romania and was hospitalized until September 1945. Those who had been hospitalized for a long while got used to the life with all found: no need to worry of the meals, cloths and lodging. The military discharge not only worried but also frightened. What to do on Civvy Street? And I had to face the challenge too. We felt like studying but didn't know where. To be on the safe side I filled out two application forms: one for the medical school (I worshiped the doctors who resuscitated the wounded) and the other for the law school (my ward mate, the son of the Prosecutor of Novosibirsk region, tell me a lot about his father). And now I am going to give the application. The law school appears to be the first on my way. That's how my future was shaped"1. Indeed that was the oracular utterance.

His love of medicine has yet left the mark. In October 1946 Vasily Stepanovich met a female student of the medical school. Veronica Mikhailovna Zlokazova decided to go hand in hand with the student of the Sverdlovsk law school. On September 29, 1948 they married and ever since they have live together (over 60 years). Together they have two adult kids (Natalia and Mikhail), four grandchildren (Anastasia, Alexander, Olga, Polina) and five great grandchildren (Veronica, Giluzar, Daria, Maia, Milana, Yura).

So in 1945 he entered the Sverdlovsk law school from which he graduated in 1949. In his remembrances of the school and of the instructors V.S. Yakushev wrote: "Among the applicants in 1945 there were a lot of veterans invalidated out of the army. We listened to the lectures in a huge classroom on the 5th floor of the building on Malyshev Street, 26 (today it is occupied by the regional court). Z.M. Chernilovskiy was reading lectures on the theory of state and law (eventually he made a prominent lawyer). With our hearts aflutter and full of joy we were looking forward to his advent into the classroom.

The introductory lecture lasted for over 10 hours. Chernilovskiy was speaking passionately and freely of the theory, the state, the war and the front line, Russo and Montesquieu, Tvardovskiy and Dolmatovskiy (was reciting many of their poems), of Georgian czarina Tamara and David Sasunskiy and of much, much more. And while listening to this brilliant lecturer I pondered anxiously if I am capable of learning all what he was speaking of and if indeed I could manage it.

After seven or eight lectures S.A. Rozmarin, which afterwards became the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, substituted for Z.M. Chernilovskiy. The students spoke that Stefan Adolfovich had just gone at large and passed the nights in one of the classrooms since he didn't have the house of his own. His lectures differed from what we had just heard. They didn't express that swing, lyrics and romanticism inherent in Z.M. Chernilovskiy, rather they were thoughtful, orderly and self-restraint, they were good for taking notes of and could be useful for studying the training course. That was quite essential for us, the first-year students, since we didn't have any textbooks and the summary of the lectures were the only way of getting ready for the exams.

Before we set about to studying of the Roman private law we had to study the Latin language which was read by the outstanding teacher V.P. Ignatiev. He was a man of high culture, communicative and very respectful towards the students.

Professor Alexander Markovich Vinaver read the Roman private law lectures in the same large classroom on the 5th floor"2.

Astonishingly how could the ex-army officer, the defender of the homeland, be so eager to learn? Being a venerable scholar already Vasily Stepanovich keeps striving for mastery and perfection in law practices and honing his skills to the top level. His scientific papers are both remarkable in depth of insight and in their delicate style of narration.

Vasily Stepanovich continued the postgraduate training with full-time attendance under the academic advising by Karl Sergeevich Yudelson. The scholar of world reputation has fostered many mentees. In the postwar years he read the law of civil procedure. The author of this preface is blessed to have seen the young-looking and always stylish Professor K.S. Yudelson.

An interesting fact: Being a witness of a lot of interesting events in the life of the School Vasily Stepanovich recollects the public controversy between Professor K.S. Yudelson and the competent educator D.P. Proshlyakov who was an expert in criminal procedure. In the face of the veteran students they discussed various disputable issues and filled with exhilaration both the students and themselves.

In 1955 Vasily Stepanovich successfully defended the PhD thesis "Statutory regulation of commission and market trade". The theme was deliberately chosen. At that time after Stalin's death the Soviet society and the state was on the edge of great changes. However several more years had to pass before the known economic reforms in the USSR unleashed.

In 1973 he defended his Doctor thesis "The legal entity of the state company". Civilists and Professors S.N. Bratus, Yu.Kh. Kalmykov, S.M. Korneev were his official opponents. As you can see the distance between his PhD and Doctor theses is about 20 years. To the present-day scale it is indeed a large period of time. In contemporary Russia the doctors of sciences are noticeably younger; some of them had gained the sought-for doctorship even before they turned thirty. As the phrase goes: Makes haste to live and hastens to sensate.

For many years Vasily Stepanovich professed at the civil law subdepartment which was taken over by Professor O.A. Krasavchikov after Professor B.B. Cherepakhin had left for Leningrad (he was offered the position of the head of the civil law subdepartment at the Leningrad State University). Being busy in the postgraduate studying with full-time attendance Vasily Stepanovich also professed both in the School and in the Legal School under the Ministry of Justice of the RSFSR (accelerated training of legal officers for the public prosecution offices, courts, investigation agencies). He professed the civil, land, collective farm and family law. Therefore he mastered the civil law course in various manifestations.

However between 1961 and 1962 while being on a business trip in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and professing in the Higher school under the Supreme public Court of the DRV V.S. Yakushev read a course of the Soviet civil procedure lectures.

Between 1966 and 1969 Vasily Stepanovich he had worked in capacity of the academic vice-president of the School. Background in brief: He was installed in the position by the regulation of the Minister of higher and specialized secondary education of the RSFR dated August 10, 1966 № 437/k. Before his appointment the Sverdlovsk Law School had just one (combined) position of academic and research vice-president (at that time the position was occupied by Professor V.M. Semenov, a renowned scholar and research manager). Therefore Vasily Stepanovich is avowed to have been the first academic vice-president in the history of the Sverdlovsk Law School.

Between 1969 and 1973 he worked in capacity of the provost of the evening and correspondence training of the School.

However his moment of glory came after the economic law subdepartment was established in 1973 to provide the necessary conditions for shaping and developing of the economic law area of practice in the Sverdlovsk Law School.

And so the year 1973: the doctoral thesis presented, the economic law subdepartment established, the vice-president position vacated.

Together with Vladimir Iosifovich Kofman, Stanislav Antonovich Khokhlov, Lev Sergeevich Malokotin, Vasily Stepanovich is a founding father of both the economic law subdepartment and of the public economy law department (today - the School of Law and Entrepreneurship). Headed by him the subdepartment executed the individual curriculum. The syllabuses of the new courses were executed and provisions made for their high quality teaching.

Vasily Stepanovich had supervised the business law subdepartment for over 20 years. That was indeed the pioneer and fruitful work. Contemplating the past V.S. Yakushev writes: "The individual curriculum of the economic law specialization and the syllabuses were the top priority of the newly created subdepartment. Yet primarily we had to identify a list of classroom disciplines related to the specialization, their training hours, and their training forms (lectures, workshops and hands-on, internship contents and etc.). All this had to be done within a tight schedule. Finally the individual curriculum of the department was finalized and approved by the School Council. The syllabuses of the newly introduced courses were also developed and approved at the subdepartment..."3.

Noteworthy that the draft individual curriculum and the syllabuses received an OK from a number of educational institutions and that of the Institute of the State and Law under the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. We have taken the lead at the market of educational services both in the USSR and in contemporary Russia.

The establishment of the economic law sub-department and that of the department of law in public economy was a quite bold move. On their way towards the target the founders of the department and the sub-department encountered a lot of obstacles and undercurrents. The theoretical controversy that existed in those years (and not only) between the representatives of the civil and economic law hindered the normal work and distracted from the fruitful performance. Furthermore there were the adversaries to the new department in the School itself, of which Vasily Stepanovich would occasionally recollect with sadness. Professor O.A. Krasavchikov, the head of the civil law subdepartment of the Svedlovsk Law School had been the staunch adversary of the economic law subdepartment and let alone of the department of law in the public economy. So V.D. Shakhov, the head of the labor law of the Sverdlovsk Law School would explain his attitude saying that the trial and public prosecutor specialization had been established in the School and the introduction of any new major would re-quire a lot of changes, new training courses and new training syllabuses. And indeed the strategy of the Ministry of Education of the USSR was aimed at production of the wide-profile lawyers and any new department would reduce to a narrow profile approach.

The idea of the economic law major was backed by Professor D.D. Ostapenko, the Principal of the Sverdlovsk law School. Thanks to his efforts, as V.S. Yakushev recollects, the proper and the farsighted decision was made after having persuaded the Ministry of Education of the USSR on the establishment of the economic law specialization in the Sverdlovsk Law School. "D.D. Ostapenko was a very wise principal and supervised the SLS for over 33 years which is a unique case in the School life."

As A.I. Tatarkin, the ex-dean of the department of law in the public economy (today he is the director of the Institute of Economics of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the honorable man of science of the RF), puts it, Professor K.S. Yudelson has been the steadfast supporter and read the training course "Arbitration procedure" at the department" 1.

Even today the controversy echoes and manifests itself in various forms. Some scholars suggest abolishing of both the science of economic law (read: the business law) and its training. In their opinion the subdepartments of economic (business) law established with the legal school and legal departments of the Universities must be also phased out. Therefore they propose the drastic solution to the long standing dispute and to do away with the economic law in its all manifestations in the manner of the Purge of 1937. However this facedown continues to exist in more latent forms.

V.S. Yakushev shows one of the great features to have, i.e. his scientific large-mindedness and respect towards his theoretical opponents and by virtue of that the subdepartment managed to preserve evenly relationships with the supporters of various scientific areas, schools and views. Same as the politics the scientific work is based upon compromises. This is no class enemies or any irreconcilable opponents in there. The orthodoxes are perilous both for religion and law. They can be found among the civil law scholars and those of the economic and business law. The scholars must not be divided into supporters and enemies. High time this insane confrontation to be epilogized and the fruitful cooperation in various areas of expertise to be set about.

Vasily Stepanovich is the author of over 180 titles in scientific, training and training method literature. Among those are the co-authored two-volume textbooks on the Soviet civil law (executive editor prof. O.A. Krasavchikov), those on economic laws (executive editor prof. O.A. Krasavchikov and prof. V.P. Gribanov), the reference book of law for economic executives (executive editor B.I. Putinskiy). His area of scientific expertize is, but not limited to, the legal status of companies and organizations. Professor V.S. Yakushev wrote thoughtful academic papers on many civil and economic law problems and had them published in such law journals like "The State and the law", "The science of law", "The Russian Journal of Law". V.S. Yakushev actively participated in workshops and symposiums of various levels.

Professor V.S. Yakushev has been an educator with a capital E. Over 30 of his students have successfully presented their PhD and doctorate theses. Among the first of those are: – Dinus Nurimanovich Safiullin, Nadezhda Aleksandrovna Fedorova, Vladimir Sergeevich Belykh, Alexander Vitalievich Kazakov, Georgiy Gennadievich Pilikin. It is practically impossible to identify the number of the graduates from the Sverdlovsk law school also known as the Ural State Academy of law who have been blessed to listen to his civil law lectures. The graduates recollect his benevolence, intellectuality and, of course, professionalism.

In the intervening years Professor V. S. Yakushev as a regular member of the Thesis Review Board of the Ural State Academy of Law has repeatedly acted as an official reviewer/opponent to the PhD and doctorate theses. After the "Russian Journal of Law" has been started he became a member of its editorial board.

Over 10 years Vasily Stepanovich has professed in the Russian School of Private law under the President of Russian Federation (the Ural department).

For valor and courage demonstrated during WWII V. S. Yakushev is decorated with the Order of the Patriotic War of the 2nd class and the battle honors. In 1985 he was decorated the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st class in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the WWII. His merit in scientific and educational activities and in training of the highly skilled expertise was rewarded with the Medal of Honor and in 2001 he was decorated with the Order of Friendship and the Certificate of Merit from the Supreme Arbitration court of RF and was granted the honorary title "the Honored lawyer of RSFSR".

His successful and sincere educational research efforts have been repeatedly appreciated by the Management of the Academy and that of the RF Ministry of Education.

Vasily Stepanovich Yakushev who will turn ninety on July 23, 2012 has undoubtedly made it into history of Russia as one of the outstanding scholars, educationists and talented research managers. In common with many people of the prewar period his destiny is difficult and event-rich, and yet fortunate. That is why we as his numerous mentees do hereby express our love and gratitude for everything!

V. S. Belykh, Professor


1V.S. Yakushev. Let bygones be bygones Reminiscences of the past and reflections of the future. Yekaterinburg: The Ural publisher, 2002. P. 126-127.
2V.S. Yakushev Let bygones be bygones Reminiscences of the past and reflections of the fu-ture. P. 127-128.
3V.S. Yakushev The economic law sub-department (the short historical sketch). Reminiscences of the past and reflections of the future. P. 39


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