Working out and realization of the policy of counter reforms.
Since June 1882 till the end of 1885 a new course of government policy was established, and general outlines of reforms in favour of local nobility were planned. The emperor and his suite chose the tactics of gradual and consecutive liquidation of "alien" for the Russian autocracy phenomena of previous periods.
The university charter of 1884 was the first step of the new government position. This charter liquidated the autonomy of universities.Henceforth rectors, deans and professors were appointed, the criteria were not scientific merits but their "religious, moral and patriotic orientation". Rights of scientific boards were limited, and the university court was abolished. University life was supervised by a curator of the district and a minister. The system of state examinations and payment by students for the right to attend lectures and practical training were introduced.
The years of 1886-1894 was the period of detailed working out of the general plan and concrete projects of counter reforms and their realization. The essential part of projects of counter reform was developed in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the main developer was the governor of office of the ministry, former district leader of nobility A.D.Pazukhin.
The project of the administrative counter reform was finished in the autumn of 1886. The important step in its realization was the law of district heads (July 12, 1889) who were appointed by the Minister of Internal Affairs from hereditary noblemen. It ought to replace the institution of arbitrators, district country tribunals and justice's court. They approved and dismissed officials of country administration, imposed penalties without trials and arrested peasants. The law of administrative heads increased the government supervision of peasants, subordinated them to administrative and judicial power of noblemen.
The next step was passing on the 12th of June 1890 of "Regulations of provincial and district establishments" that approved the class principle of elections to the local establishments and strengthened the government control of their activity.
After this counter reform the question of city self-government was put on the agenda. 'The city regulations" of the 11th of June 1892 considerably limited the autonomy of the city self-government but widened rights of the administration. The mayor and members of the town council were declared state employees, hence, were controlled by the administration.
The court reforms.
Cautious but insistent actions were undertaken against the "court republic" - court establishments of 1864. The sphere of competence of courts was consistently limited, the attack on publicity of legal proceedings continued. The law of the 12th of February 1887 gave to ministers of Internal Affairs and justice the right to declare closed sessions of court. In April 1887 were increased the property and educational qualifications for jurors that hindered in democratization of their membership. In connection with the institution of district heads in 1889 Justices of the Peace were abolished.
As a whole the measures did much harm to new court establishments but did not liquidate their main principles: irremovability of judges, publicity and jury. Full revision of the court regulations of 1864 was undertaken by the minister of justice N.V Muraviyev appointed in 1894, the Solicitor-General at state trials. But termination of the judicial counter reform was prevented by the change of political conditions after Alexander's III death.