Directness, Continuity, and Oral Nature of Judicial Examination

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Directness, Continuity, and Oral Nature of Judicial Examination


the basic principles of judicial procedure in the socialist countries. Direct judicial examination means that the court hearing the case and rendering judgment must, without a change in its composition, familiarize itself with all the materials of the case, examine the evidence directly, and verify the evidence in a court session, giving the accused, victims, civil plaintiff, civil defendant, and other persons involved in the case an opportunity to participate.

In accordance with the principle of continuity, the same bench of judges may not consider other cases before completing the hearing of a case already begun, judgment must be rendered immediately upon the conclusion of the judicial examination, and the judgment must be announced after the meeting of the judges. In the USSR, in certain complex civil cases, the rendering of a reasoned judgment may be postponed by the court for not more than three days. Only judges who have heard a case from the beginning to the end of a judicial examination have the right to render judgment. If a judge or people’s assessor is replaced during the consideration of a case, the examination of the case commences from the beginning.

The oral nature of a court trial is reflected in the fact that explanations (statements, evidence, findings) by participants in the trial are given orally, even if the same information had been presented to the court earlier in written form. The directness, continuity, and oral nature of a judicial examination ensure a careful hearing of a case, determination of the legal truth, and the rendering of a well-founded judgment.

The procedural law of various capitalist countries, including the United States, Great Britain, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Japan, establishes the principles of the directness and continuity of a judicial examination and the principle of combining oral and written pleas during a trial. But these principles are purely a formality because the same laws establish numerous exceptions; for example, legislation in the United States and Great Britain recognizes certain types of evidence, such as documents from official bodies, as privileged. These provisions make the bourgeois trial a legal means of protecting private property and upholding a system that benefits the ruling class.

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