People's Judge

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

People’s Judge


in the USSR, a judge in the people’s court.

The people’s judge is elected directly by the population of a city district or city on a basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage. The term of office is five years. Any citizen of the USSR who possesses the right to vote and has reached the age of 25 by the date of the election can be elected a people’s judge. The principle of electing people’s judges makes them periodically accountable to the voters. The voters also have the right to recall people’s judges before their terms expire if their trust has been violated. If several people’s judges are elected in a city district or in a city not divided into districts, the appropriate soviet confirms one of the people’s judges as chairman, or senior judge, and this judge exercises general leadership over the work of the court.

A people’s judge and two people’s assessors constitute the court which by law hears all criminal and civil cases and renders judgment over such cases. The people’s judge presides over court sessions. The people’s judge alone hears cases of administrative offenses that are within the court’s jurisdiction. People’s judges are also given the right to issue decisions to begin criminal proceedings when complaints and statements about the commission of a crime have been submitted to the court. If the circumstances of such a criminal case do not require a special executive session of the court, the people’s judge alone decides the question of arraigning the accused.

People’s judges may be brought to criminal accountability, removed from their posts, or arrested only with the consent of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the appropriate Union republic. People’s judges are brought to disciplinary accountability for official crimes in the regularly established manner.

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