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(Russian, iuriskonsul’t), in the USSR, an employee of the legal service division of an enterprise, institution, or organization. The legal counsel is responsible for checking the legality of orders and decisions made by the management (within the limits of its competence), preparing contracts and agreements concluded with other enterprises and institutions, informing workers and employees of current legislation, and giving legal assistance in cases conducted in courts or before arbitration tribunals when the enterprise, institution, or organization is appearing as a plaintiff or defendant.
The functions, rights, and obligations of the legal counsel (or of the head of the legal department or bureau) are defined by a statute that is promulgated in ministries and departments. The statute is based on a general statute dealing with the legal departments (bureaus) and head (senior) legal counsels of ministries, departments, executive committees of soviets of people’s deputies, enterprises, organizations, and institutions; the general statute was approved by a decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR on June 22, 1972 (Collected Decrees of the Government of the USSR, 1972, no. 13, art. 70).