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(1) In criminal procedure, the participation of two or more persons as defendants in one and the same criminal case. In Soviet criminal procedure, the defendants are tried in one and the same case if they are accused of complicity in a crime, of concealment or failure to report a crime when not promised in advance, and in several other instances. All defendants have the same rights. If one defendant has defense counsel, the other defendants must have defense counsel if the interests of the defendants conflict. A defendant cannot appear as a witness against another defendant, even with reference to an incident in which he had no part.
(2) In civil procedure, joinder is the participation of two or more plaintiffs or two or more respondents in one and the same civil case. Joinder is mandatory if one or several plaintiffs have claims involving a common right or common duty against several respondents and if such claims cannot be considered separately—for example, as in joint liability. Joinder is optional when the court itself determines the advisability of joinder.
In criminal and civil procedure, the court must render an appropriate ruling or determination on the question of joinder.