The article raises the issue of public interest concept as understood by E. V. Vaskovsky. In particular, it is demonstrated that the scientist proceeded from an idea that such a phenomenon as law exists within social benefit. He associated development of many institutions of law specifically with social needs. The article also provides insight into certain aspects of how E. V. Vaskovsky interpreted the social meaning of various civil law institutions, as well as different restrictions of legal rights to the shared benefit. It is shown that the scientist believed that court activities related to justice administration are of particular social importance. It is also underlined that E. V. Vaskovsky did not equate public and state interests. The author’s reflections on E. V. Vaskovsky’s views and the relevance of his ideas to date are also provided.