in Soviet law, the principle of reviewing civil and criminal cases in the cassation instance. Review procedure means that the court of second instance examines each case in full and is not bound by the arguments of the cassation appeal or protest; it verifies the case with respect to all the convicted persons (or parties in a civil case), not just those who lodged the appeal or those with respect to whom the cassation protest was entered. However, a case may be heard by review procedure only if there is an appeal or a cassation protest with respect to at least one of the convicted persons (one of the participants in a civil case).
The review procedure attests to the democratic nature of Soviet legal proceedings. When reviewing a case the court of cassation may lighten the sentence given by the court of first instance or apply the law for a less grave crime; it does not have the right to increase the sentence or apply the law for a graver crime. Despite the fact that under review procedure the court is verifying the legality and grounds of the judgment based on material presented in the case and supplementary material, it does not have the right to establish and consider as proved new facts that were not indicated in the judgment.