Cassation


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Related to Cassation: Cour de Cassation
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cassation

 

the appeal or protest to a higher court of court judgments and sentences that have not taken legal effect, and the consideration by the higher court of appeals and protests with the aim of verifying the legality and grounds of judgments and sentences.

In the USSR, the courts of cassation above raion (city) people’s courts are oblast courts and other courts of equal standing, supreme courts of ASSR’s and, in Union republics not subdivided into oblasts, the supreme courts of Union republics. Judgments of the supreme court of an ASSR or of oblast courts and other courts of equal standing in their capacity as courts of original jurisdiction are appealed to the Supreme Court of the Union republic. Sentences of military tribunals are appealed to military tribunals of the various armed services, military districts, army groups, fleets, and separate armies; the judgments of military tribunals of this higher category are appealed to the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR.

In criminal cases, the prisoner, his defense counsel and legal representative, and the victim and his representative have the right of cassation complaint. A person acquitted by a court may bring a complaint against a sentence with respect to the reasons and grounds for acquittal. A civil plaintiff, a civil defendant, and their representatives may bring a complaint against a judgment with respect to the part of the judgment that relates to civil claims. In civil cases the plaintiff, the defendant, and other persons involved in the case have the right to bring a complaint. The public procurator is obliged to lodge a protest against any illegal unjustified judgment or decision. The judgments and sentences of all courts may be appealed, except judgments and sentences of the Supreme Court of the USSR and of the Supreme Court of a Union republic. Cases in courts of cassation are considered by panels consisting of three members of the court.

In considering a case, the court of cassation is not bound by the limits of the complaint or protest and must verify the case in full with respect to all the persons convicted (all the parties in a civil case), including those who have not brought a complaint against the sentence or the judgment or those with respect to whom no protest has been entered.

The court of cassation may uphold a sentence or judgment without any change, may vacate a sentence or judgment (in full or in part) and refer the case for a new investigation or a new court hearing, may vacate a sentence or judgment (in full or in part) and terminate the case, or may change a sentence or judgment. In civil cases a court of cassation may render a new decision without referring the case for a new hearing if the circumstances of the case were fully and correctly established by the court of original jurisdiction but an error was committed in the application of the norms of the law. A sentence may be vacated on the grounds that a law for a more serious crime ought to have been applied or because too lenient a sentence has been imposed only in those instances when the public procurator has entered a complaint or the victim submitted an appeal on these grounds. A judgment of acquittal may be vacated only on complaint of a procurator or on appeal of a victim or of a person acquitted by the court.

The instructions of the court of cassation, insofar as they relate to ensuring the completeness of investigation of the circumstances of a case, are binding during supplementary investigation and the reexamination of the case in court. However, the court of cassation has no right to consider as proved facts that were not established in the sentence or judgment or were rejected by the sentence or judgment. It has no right to predetermine questions of whether the criminal charge or claim has been proved, questions of the authenticity of evidence, questions of the superiority of some evidence over other, or questions of the extent of punishment or the amount of recovery.

In foreign socialist countries the functions of the courts of cassation are performed by regional courts (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Rumania), district courts (Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic), and województwo courts (Poland). The supreme courts of these countries function as courts of cassation with respect to sentences and judgments of the courts given above in those instances when the latter consider cases in their capacity as trial courts.

The institution of cassation originated in France at the end of the 18th century, during the bourgeois revolution. Cassation in bourgeois law differs fundamentally from the cassation in the USSR. The bourgeois process is characterized by pure cassation, that is, the challenge of a sentence solely on formal grounds (violations of substantive and procedural law). The reviewing court may not consider the merits of the case; it may vacate a judgment but may not change it.

In most bourgeois countries, appeals from decisions of lower courts are taken to courts of appeal. In Great Britain the court of criminal appeal is the Court of Queen’s Bench, but appeal is permitted only on grounds of an incorrect application of the law. In France, the Court of Cassation is the highest judicial instance for criminal and civil cases.

I. D. PERLOV


Cassation

 

a multipart entertaining musical work for instrumental ensemble, performed during various ceremonial festivities (usually outdoors). It frequently begins and ends with a march. Related to the serenade, divertimento, and nocturne, the cassation was popular in 18th-century Austria and Germany. Haydn and Mozart composed several cassations.

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