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in the USSR, the person who directly presides over a court session in the name of the entire court. The law stipulates who may be a presiding judge and regulates his rights and duties. Thus, at a session of a raion or city people’s court, either the president of the court or the people’s judge will preside, while at sessions of other courts the president of the court, his deputy, or a member of the court may preside.
The presiding judge has no rights that other judges do not possess. He is obliged to take all steps provided for by law for a comprehensive, detailed, and objective investigation of the circumstances of the case and determination of the truth and also for the educational impact of the proceeding. He must maintain proper order during the court session. When a group of judges is voting to reach a verdict or judgment, the presiding judge casts the last vote.