Legal Relations

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Legal Relations


social relations regulated by legal norms in which the participants—persons or organizations—are the bearers of legal rights and obligations. Legal relations arise, change, and cease in the presence of conditions provided for by legal norms—legal facts. In a legal relation, the participants have certain legal rights and corresponding legal obligations. For example, in legal relations associated with pensions, the pensioner has the right to receive a pension periodically while state agencies for pension support are obligated to pay it. In the case of a legal obligation, the debtor is obligated to perform a certain action for the benefit of the creditor, who has the right to demand that the debtor carry out his obligation.

Legal relations belong to the category of superstructural (ideological) social relations, that is, those that “before taking shape pass through man’s consciousness” (V. I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 1, p. 137). They derive from the state inasmuch as they are envisioned by legal norms. The content and nature of legal relations are, in the last analysis, a result of the material needs and conditions of society. Thus, in socialist society, based on social ownership of the means of production and exploitation-free labor, there is no right of private ownership, and therefore legal relations associated with hiring the labor of others in the private economy or legal relations for the purpose of obtaining nonlabor income do not arise. Such legal relations, which are typical of capitalist society, are prohibited by Soviet law.

In socialist society there are diverse state, administrative, civil, labor, and other legal relations through which law influences the development of society.

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