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(podvedomstvennost’), the delimination of competence among different bodies of state power and administration, determining the sphere of activity of each such body, for example, in the USSR the delimination of the competence of courts, the arbitration system, and state and comrades’ courts.
(podsledstvennost’), allocation of criminal cases requiring preliminary investigation among various investigatory and inquiry agencies. Soviet law distinguishes three types of jurisdiction: subject-matter (generic), territorial (local), and jurisdiction over interconnected cases.
Subject-matter jurisdiction is determined by the type of crime. The chief form of investigation in most of these cases is the preliminary investigation, which is conducted by investigators from a procurator’s office (including military procurators), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), and state security agencies. The military procurator’s office conducts investigations in cases of crimes committed by servicemen, military reservists during their training assemblies, officers, sergeants, the rank and file staff of state security agencies, and certain other groups. MVD investigators investigate cases of theft of personal and state property, malicious hooliganism, assault causing bodily injury, and violations of traffic regulations and rules for the operation of transport facilities. For the most part, in other words, they investigate crimes whose prevention and discovery are functions of the MVD. Investigators from state security agencies investigate cases of particularly dangerous state crimes and certain other cases related to violations of state security.
Investigators from territorial procurators’ offices investigate crimes by minors, murders, crimes against the administration of justice, official crimes, certain crimes against socialist property, and other crimes. Investigators from the procurator’s office may, on orders from the procurator, investigate any case; the other preliminary investigatory agencies do not have such authority. In cases where a preliminary investigation is compulsory, criminal inquiry agencies have the right to institute proceedings and carry out urgent investigatory actions.
Territorial (local) jurisdiction is ordinarily defined by the place of commission of the crime. To insure promptness, objectivity, and completeness of investigation, however, it may be assigned to the place where the crime was discovered or the place where the suspect, the accused, or the majority of witnesses are located.
Jurisdiction over interconnected cases is allocated to one investigatory agency. For example, if a case involving one of the accused or one of the elements of a crime is subject to investigation by a military investigator while other suspects or elements are to be investigated as separate cases by MVD agencies or the territorial procurator’s office, all of these cases are investigated by the military investigator.
(podsudnost’), allocation of cases among the various courts for trial. According to Soviet law, three types of jurisdiction are distinguished: subject-matter (generic) jurisdiction, territorial (local) jurisdiction, and jurisdiction over interconnected cases.
Subject-matter jurisdiction involves allocating cases among the various tiers of the court hierarchy, depending on the type of crime or the subject and nature of the civil case. Territorial jurisdiction involves allocating cases to different courts on the same tier of the legal system, depending on the place of commission of the crime—for a criminal case—or on the place of residence of a defendant who is a natural person or the location of an agency or property of a defendant who is a legal entity—for a civil case. If it is impossible to determine the place of commission of the crime, jurisdiction is established in the place where the preliminary investigation was completed. Territorial jurisdiction in civil cases may also be determined by the location of a defendant’s property or his last known place of residence if the current place of residence is unknown, by the plaintiffs choice in cases provided for by law (alternative jurisdiction), by agreement of the parties (consensual jurisdiction), or by law when certain courts are given jurisdiction over all claims in certain categories of cases (exclusive jurisdiction). Jurisdiction over interconnected cases is allocated to one court; for example, a counterclaim is subject to the jurisdiction of the same court that hears the initial suit.
In cases heard by military tribunals, there is one more type of jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, where cases are allocated to some particular tier of the system of tribunals, depending on the military rank and official position of the accused.
A higher court has the right to accept for trial any case within the jurisdiction of a lower court. Litigation concerning territorial jurisdiction is not permitted. Where a court receives a case beyond its subject-matter jurisdiction, it sends the case to a higher court for a ruling on jurisdiction.
(1) The authority by which a state body determines the legality or illegality of the action of a person, state body, or public organization, decides legal disputes, and applies legal sanctions to a person who has not fulfilled his legal obligations or has committed a violation of the law. Jurisdiction is invested by a law or other legal act to courts, arbitration tribunals, and, in certain cases, administrative bodies, such as motor vehicle inspectorates and sanitation inspectorates. The administrators and managerial bodies of enterprises exercise jurisdiction within the limits established by law in the area of managerial, financial, and labor relations.
(2) The sphere to which such authority extends.