Acts of Bodies of State Administration

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Acts of Bodies of State Administration


the form, provided for by law, of realizing the executive powers of the state bodies of power in the USSR. By issuing such acts, the bodies of state administration, within the limits of their competence and on the basis and in fulfillment of the laws, regulate social relations, organize the fulfillment of planned assignments, supervise production, protect public and private property and the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, and carry out measures on strengthening the defense of the USSR and the protection of public order and state security. The laws and ukases of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and of the Union republics are acts of bodies of state authority.

Acts of bodies of state administration are juridical in character because their instructions are backed by the authority of the state and their implementation is mandatory. These instructions either obligate citizens, officials, state and public institutions, organizations, and enterprises to carry out (or refrain from carrying out) certain actions or grant various rights, thus giving rise to a variety of legal relations and consequences.

According to the USSR Constitution and the constitutions of the Union and autonomous republics, the supreme bodies of state administration of the USSR and of the Union and autonomous republics (the councils of ministers) have the right to issue decrees and regulations; the branch bodies of administration, orders and instructions; and the local bodies of administration (executive committees), decisions and regulations. The administrations of enterprises and institutions issue orders.

Acts of the bodies of state administration must be issued on the basis and in fulfillment of the laws and cannot change or abrogate them. These acts are juridical facts that give rise to, change, or put an end to legal relations. They may serve as evidence before investigative bodies, in courts and arbitration commissions, and during administrative procedure. Furthermore, they form a basis for issuing new acts of administration and for concluding contracts regulated by civil law.

From the point of view of the juridical content, acts of the bodies of state administration are divided into normative and individual acts. The normative acts contain legal rules regulating similar relations—for instance, statutes on ministries or rules of admission to higher educational institutions. Individual acts regulate and apply the law to a specific case. They cannot be applied to other relations, even though they are similar. A decree expressing gratitude or a regulation on the allocation of funds is an example of an individual act.

Acts that contain administrative sanctions for their violations, which are called acts of administrative sanctions, form a special group of acts of the bodies of state administration. The councils of ministers of the USSR and of the Union and autonomous republics have been invested with the right to issue such acts. The local soviets, except rural soviets, and their executive committees can issue such acts on questions pertaining to the protection of public order, the improvement of public amenities and sanitation conditions in the community, and other questions provided for by legislation.

An act of administration enters into effect either at the time indicated in the text of the act itself or from the moment when the agency charged with implementing it is informed of it. An act of a body of state administration may indicate the duration of its effectiveness. If the duration is not indicated, the act is effective until it is abrogated by another act or by a law. In most Union republics, acts of local soviets containing administrative sanctions are issued for a period not exceeding two years.

The mode of publicizing and putting into effect decrees and regulations of the USSR government is set forth in a special decree of the USSR Council of Ministers (Collection of Decrees of the USSR, 1954, no. 6, p. 37). This decree states that general and normative decrees must be published in the Collection of Decrees of the Government of the USSR (SP SSSR). Normative decrees must furthermore indicate the time when they become effective. When measures covered in the act are urgent, the decree must be immediately promulgated in newspapers, on the radio, or by telegraph; in such cases it becomes effective immediately. If a decree of the government does not indicate when it becomes effective, it goes into effect when it is adopted. Regulations of the Council of Ministers become effective upon adoption.

Acts of the bodies of state administration as a rule are not retroactive. In some cases an act of administration may state that its action extends to relations that arose before it was adopted. The legality of acts of the bodies of state administration is subject to control by higher bodies of administration and to supervision by bodies of the attorney’s office.


Administrativnoe pravo. Uchebnik dlia iuridich. Vuzov. Edited by Iu. M. Kozlov. Moscow, 1968. Chapter 14.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.