The authors of the article reveal the essence and content of the Zemstvo and Judicial reforms (1864) in the general context of social relations and the domestic policy of the Russian Empire, showing their connection with the Peasant reform (1861). As a result of the reforms carried out by the government of Alexander II, local public authority was transformed. All-estate zemstvo institutions and courts independent from the administration appeared in the provinces and counties. The article describes the Zemstvo reform aimed at solving of social and economic problems of the citizens at local level, in its relationship with the Judicial reform, which had established courts of peace, guaranteed equal protection of personal and property rights of citizens, including peasants who had received freedom recently. The authors reveal the features of the new public order in the activities of zemstvo institutions and local courts; substantiate the organizational principles common to zemstvos and courts of peace (estate-inclusiveness, independence from administration, legality, etc.); characterize the structure and competence of zemstvo institutions and courts of peace in their interaction with each other, as well as with the government bodies. The self-government bodies and the courts of peace, introduced by the government of Alexander II, contradicted to the historically established social order and state system of the Russian Empire, which predetermined their future fate. During the implementation of the conservative course of the government of Alexander III the courts of peace were abolished and the institute of zemsky district commanders with administrative and judicial powers was established in rural areas in 1889. Copyright © 2019 by International Network Center for Fundamental and Applied Research.