Inviolability of a Deputy

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Inviolability of a Deputy

 

a constitutional principle guaranteed by law in the USSR and the other socialist states. Deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Supreme Soviets of Union and autonomous republics cannot be held for criminal action or be subjected to court-imposed administrative penalty except with the consent of the appropriate Supreme Soviet (or between sessions, with the consent of its Presidium). A deputy of a local soviet is similarly protected within the Soviet’s jurisdiction, except with the consent of the soviet (or between sessions, with the consent of its executive committee).

In the capitalist states, a member of parliament is inviolable during his or her term of office while parliament is in session. This inviolability includes parliamentary privilege, which conveys the freedoms of expression, of voting in full sessions and in parliamentary committees and commissions, and of distributing parliamentary proceedings and other documents; it also includes parliamentary immunity, which means that a member cannot be subjected to criminal prosecution or arrest without the sanction of the entire parliament or the appropriate chamber, except in cases where the member has been arrested at the scene of the crime. In addition, a member of parliament usually has a special privileged legal status that partially removes him from legal responsibility (for example, from general civil jurisdiction) and assigns certain additional rights. The limits of parliamentary inviolability are set by constitutions, parliamentary rules, constitutional customs, and constitutional and parliamentary practice.

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