Criminal Case, Initiation of a

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Criminal Case, Initiation of a


the preliminary stage of a criminal case, in which a procurator, investigator, agency of inquiry, or judge considers a declaration or communication concerning a crime and makes a decision (a decree or ruling) to initiate or refuse to initiate a criminal case or transfer the declaration or communication to another investigative or judicial jurisdiction.

In Soviet law the initiation of a criminal case is not only a right but also a duty of government agencies. The court, the procurators, the investigators, and the agency of inquiry are obliged, within the limits of their competence, to initiate a criminal case in each instance in which elements of a crime are discovered and to take all measures provided by law to establish the fact that a crime has been committed and identify and punish the guilty persons. The legislation of the individual Union republics provides for instances when it is possible not to institute a criminal case and to refer the material for consideration by a comrades’ court or a commission for cases of minors, and when the malefactor may be released on bail.

The initiation of a criminal case is a legal prerequisite for beginning the investigation of a crime and the trial of a case.

In cases initiated by private persons, a judge shall take measures to reconcile the victim with the person against whom the complaint has been made. If reconciliation is not effected, the judge renders a decree to institute a criminal case.


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