in Russia, the highest central organ of military administration, organized by Peter I in 1717-20 to replace a number of military prikazy (offices) for the purpose of centralizing military administration.
The Military Collegium consisted of offices concerned with infantry and cavalry, artillery and fortifications, and garrison matters. The president of the collegium was a member of the Senate. (The first president was A. D. Menshikov.) Beginning in the second quarter of the 18th century the collegium underwent a reorganization; all persons and institutions of the higher military administration were subordinated to it. The executive body of the Military Collegium was the main chancery, which carried out the recruitment, organization, inspection, and service of the troops. The remaining problems were handled by appropriate offices, which were later transformed into ekspeditsii (administrative subdivisions). Both categories of offices decided matters autonomously; the Military Collegium dealt only with complex and controversial problems. In Moscow the agency of the collegium was a special Kontora (Office). In 1791 the Military Collegium took on its final form and came to include all military departments. In 1798 the new, reorganized Military Collegium was structurally similar to the War Ministry, which in the years 1802-12 was developed to replace it.
in the USSR, a collegium of the Supreme Court. The first military collegiums were set up in 1924 within the system of the Supreme Court of the USSR and of the Union republics. The Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR supervises the court activity of military tribunals and directly hears criminal cases assigned to its jurisdiction by the law. The members of the Military Collegium, like other members of the Supreme Court of the USSR, are elected by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The inclusion of the Military Collegium in the Supreme Court of the USSR contributes to unity of court practice and to the strengthening of legality in the administration of justice.
The Military Collegium has jurisdiction over criminal cases of exceptional importance and over cases of crimes by superior officers; it also has a right to initiate proceedings as a court of original jurisdiction in any case under the jurisdiction of a military tribunal. If the collegium hears a criminal case as a court of original jurisdiction, it is composed of a chairman (who is the chairman of the Military Collegium, his deputy, or a member of the Military Collegium) and two people’s assessors of the Supreme Court of the USSR who are in active military service. When the collegium hears cases upon appeal and protest, it is composed of three members of the collegium. The Military Collegium hears cases as an appel-late court upon appeals and protests against sentences, decisions, and rulings of military tribunals of okrugs, groups of troops, fleets, and separate armies. In the exercise of judicial supervision the Military Collegium hears cases upon protests by the chairman of the Supreme Court of the USSR and his deputies, the USSR prosecutor general and his deputies, the chairman of the Military Collegium, or the chief military prosecutor against sentences, decisions, and rulings of military tribunals of okrugs, groups of troops, fleets, and separate armies.
The Military Collegium is headed by a chairman who, in addition to directing the work of the collegium and participating in the court hearing of cases, exercises control over the activities and the study of the court practice and the court statistics of military tribunals. Judicial supervision over the work of the Military Collegium is exercised by the Supreme Court of the USSR. In particular, the plenum of the Supreme Court of the USSR hears reports by the chairman of the collegium and issues corresponding instructions; it also examines protests by the chairman of the Supreme Court of the USSR and the USSR prosecutor general against sentences and rulings of the Military Collegium and other bodies.
The work of the Military Collegium is regulated by the Statute on the Supreme Court of the USSR of 1957 (with changes and supplements of Sept. 30, 1967) and the Statute on the Military Tribunals (1958).
V. I. TEREBILOV