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Part VII Justice
Chapter 20 Courts and Arbitration
(1) In the USSR
justice is administered only by the courts.
(2) In the USSR there are the following courts: the Supreme Court of the USSR
, the Supreme Courts of Union Republics
, the Supreme Courts of Autonomous Republics
, Territorial, Regional, and city courts, courts of Autonomous Regions, courts of Autonomous Areas, district (city) people's courts, and military tribunals in the Armed Forces.
(1) All courts in the USSR shall be formed on the principle of the electiveness of judges
and people's assessors
(2) People's judges of district (city) people's courts shall be elected for a term of five years by the citizens of the district (city) on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. People's assessors of district (city) people's courts shall be elected for a term of two and a half years at meetings of citizens at their places of work or residence by a show of hands.
(3) Higher courts shall be elected for a term of five years by the corresponding Soviet of People's Deputies
(4) The judges of military tribunals shall be elected for a term of five years by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
and by people's assessors for a term of two and a half years by meetings of servicemen.
(5) Judges and people's assessors are responsible and accountable to their electors or the bodies that elected them, shall report to them, and may be recalled by them in the manner prescribed by law.
(1) The Supreme Court of the USSR
is the highest judicial body in the USSR and supervises the administration of justice by the courts of the USSR and Union Republics within the limits established by law.
(2) The Supreme Court of the USSR
shall be elected by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and shall consist of a Chairman
, members, and people's assessors. The Chairmen of the Supreme Courts of Union Republics are ex officio
members of the Supreme Court of the USSR.
(3) The organization and procedure of the Supreme Court of the USSR are defined in the Law on the Supreme Court of the USSR
The hearing of civil and criminal cases in all courts is collegial; in courts of first instance cases are heard with the participation of people's assessors. In the administration of justice people's assessors have all the rights of a judge.
Judges and people's assessors are independent and subject only to the law.
Justice is administered in the USSR on the principle of the equality of citizens before the law and the court.
Proceedings in all courts shall be open to the public
. Hearings in camera are only allowed in cases provided for by law, with observance of all the rule of judicial procedure.
in a criminal action is guaranteed the right to legal assistance.
Judicial proceedings shall be conducted in the language of the Union Republic, Autonomous Republic, Autonomous Region, or Autonomous Area, or in the language spoken by the majority of the people in the locality. Persons participating in court proceedings, who do not know the language in which they are being conducted, shall be ensured the right to become fully acquainted with the materials in the case; the services of an interpreter during the proceedings; and the right to address the court in their own language.
No one may be adjudged guilty of a crime and subjected to punishment as a criminal except by the sentence of a court and in conformity with the law.
(1) Colleges of advocates are available to give legal assistance to citizens and organizations. In cases provided for by legislation citizens shall be given legal assistance free of charge.
(2) The organization and procedure of the bar are determined by legislation of the USSR
and Union Republics.
Representatives of public organizations and of work collectives may take part in civil and criminal proceedings.
(1) Economic disputes between enterprises, institutions, and organizations are settled by state arbitration bodies within the limits of their jurisdiction.
(2) The organizations and manner of functioning of state arbitration bodies are defined in the Law on State Arbitration
in the USSR.
Chapter 21 Procurator
Supreme power of supervision over the strict and uniform observance of laws by all ministries, state committees and departments, enterprises, institutions and organizations, executive-administrative bodies of local Soviets of People's Deputies, collective farms, cooperatives and other public organizations, officials and citizens is vested in the Procurator-General of the USSR
and procurators subordinate to him.
The Procurator-General of the USSR
is appointed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
and is responsible and accountable to it and, between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
The procurators of Union Republics, Autonomous Republics, Territories, Regions and Autonomous Regions are appointed by the Procurator-General of the USSR
. The procurators of Autonomous Areas and district and city procurators are appointed by the Procurators of Union Republics, subject to confirmation by the Procurator-General of the USSR.
The term of office of the Procurator-General of the USSR and all lower-ranking procurators shall be five years.
(1) The agencies of the Procurator's Office exercise their powers independently of any local bodies whatsoever, and are subordinate solely to the Procurator-General of the USSR.
(2) The organization and procedure of the agencies of the Procurator's Office are defined in the Law on the Procurator's Office of the USSR.
Onward to Sections 8 and 9