Discrediting of Authority

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Discrediting of Authority


in Soviet criminal law, a socially dangerous action (minor offense or crime) committed by a representative of authority that may or may not be connected with his official duties but that undermines the authority of the corresponding agencies. Since the commission by a representative of authority of any official crimes and disciplinary offenses affects the authority of the corresponding bodies, the discrediting of authority is considered a separate violation of the law only if there are no indications of other, more dangerous offenses or crimes.

Most of the existing criminal codes of Union republics do not define as a crime the discrediting of authority, which is therefore considered a disciplinary offense. The Kazakh SSR Criminal Code (art. 149) regards the discrediting of authority as the commission by an official of actions—even if not connected with his official duties—that in the eyes of the working people patently undermine the dignity and authority of the agencies of power that the official represents. As a penalty the code prescribes deprivation of freedom for a term of up to one year or removal from office (and ineligibility to hold responsible office) for a period of up to five years.


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