in the broad sense, the application of administrative law and the settlement of individual cases by executive and administrative bodies of state authority; in the narrow sense, the actions of state bodies, as defined by legal norms, in settling disputes between parties and applying measures of administrative compulsion.
The task of Soviet administrative process is to ensure the observance of socialist legality of state administration and to protect the rights and legitimate interests of Soviet citizens. The norms of administrative procedure determine the methods of registering and considering complaints against actions of state bodies and their officers, the methods of instituting proceedings for the commission of administrative offenses, and the application of administrative force—that is, personal detention and actions with respect to sanitation, technology, health, and so on. Citizens, public organizations, and state bodies and their officers may participate in the administrative process. Every party to the process has procedural rights and duties defined by legislation. For instance, the citizen has a right to request that his complaint be heard within time limits established by the law and by a competent agency, to present his own explanation on the substance of the case, to request the subpoena of witnesses, and so on. Public organizations have the right to institute cases on administrative offenses, to participate in the consideration and resolution of the complaint and in the activity of administrative commissions and other agencies competent to employ measures of administrative compulsion, and so forth.
The administrative process consists of procedural actions executed sequentially and can be divided into the following stages:
The initiation of administrative action by a state body, a public organization, or citizen, under which the case is directed to a competent agency. The time limit for instituting proceedings depends on the nature and content of the case—for instance, complaints against the illegal imposition of administrative fines must be presented to the court within ten days of the certification of imposition of the fine.
The consideration and solution of the substance of the case, which is the most important stage of the administrative process. The procedure to be followed in administrative cases is clearly defined by legislation—for instance, the Statute on Administrative Commissions. The people’s courts have been invested with jurisdiction over some cases pertaining to administrative and legal relations—that is, complaints about irregularities in election lists, claims for exceptions to property inventories, annulment of illegally imposed disciplinary sanctions, and others.
The execution of the decision or resolution on the case is either the task of the body which has adopted the decision or of other bodies of administration, such as the militia or administrations of enterprises and institutions. Statutes of limitations have been established for the execution of decisions in certain categories of cases—for instance, a resolution on imposition of a fine that has not been executed within three months from the day of the introduction is no longer subject to execution.
Procedural time limits provided for by law must be observed at all stages of administrative process. The parties to an administrative process have the right to acquaint themselves with all materials of the case and, if necessary, to request a presentation of additional materials and the subpoena of witnesses and eyewitnesses. The decision must be adopted in the manner provided for by law and in the proper form.
Decisions adopted through the channels of administrative process may be appealed by the parties to a higher body and, in some cases specified by law, to the court. The prosecutor may also protest against them through the procedure of general supervision.
The development and refinement of the administrative process in the USSR is closely bound up with the further democratization of the state machinery: the importance of legislative regulation of the administrative process is increasing; the state bodies that decide administrative cases are more and more governed by the principle of collective effort and other forms of democratic action; the participation of the public at all stages of the administrative process is increasing; and the administrative procedural guarantees of the rights of Soviet citizens are being perfected.
REFERENCESalishcheva, N. G. Administrativnyi protsess ν SSSR. Moscow, 1964.
N. G. SALISHCHEVA