Vieča , town or land assembly, common to other East Slavic lands. It was a general forum of nobility and freemen at which basic issues of taxation, justice, war, and peace were decided. In some cases, the assembly was powerful enough to ban the ruling duke and invite another in. The city of Połacak is known for a strong vieča. The earliest mention of the vieča in Belarusian lands goes back to 1138. The institution declined by the 15th century and was replaced by the Sojm. In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruś, and Samogitia the need for self-rule was partially satisfied through the Magdeburg Statutes.

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