(Russian, sudebnoe poruchenie), in Soviet law, a commission issued by one court, during the consideration of a case, to another court to carry out certain procedural actions in order to gather evidence in another city or raion.
The court commission is drawn up by a ruling of the court. It gives a short summary of the substance of the case, indicates the circumstances that are to be clarified, lists the evidence to be gathered, and furnishes specific information about the people to be questioned. The ruling must be carried out within ten days—according, for example, to Article 51 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the RSFSR. The commission is executed in a session of the court in a manner provided for by the code of civil procedure of the appropriate Union republic. The record of proceedings and all materials gathered are immediately sent to the court that is considering the case.
Soviet courts execute properly transmitted commissions from foreign courts with respect to the taking of certain procedural actions within the USSR—for example, the service of a summons or some other document, the questioning of witnesses and the parties to a case, examination by experts, and on-the-spot viewing. They do so in conformity to the rules set forth in Soviet legislation. Soviet courts may make such requests of foreign courts.
Relations between Soviet and foreign courts are governed by the legislation of the USSR and the Union republics and by international agreements, notably the Hague Convention of 1954 on civil proceedings, an agreement to which the USSR adhered in 1966. The commissions of foreign courts are transmitted to Soviet institutions by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in accord with diplomatic procedures. The USSR has concluded bilateral agreements on court commissions with the USA (1935), France (1936), and Austria (1972). Treaties on legal assistance also provide for the execution of court commissions.