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in the USSR, an activity carried out by governmental agencies to ensure that socialist legality is observed.
Procuratorial. Procuratorial supervision consists in the procurator’s office overseeing the precise execution of the law by all ministries, subordinate agencies, individual officials, and citizens of the USSR, in accordance with Article 113 of the Constitution of the USSR. All organs within the procuratorial system are obligated to take timely steps to halt any violations of the law, no matter where they may originate. The procurator-general of the USSR and the procuratorial system as a whole exercise powers of general supervision as they oversee the precise execution of the law by institutions, organizations, officials, and citizens.
The specific tasks of procuratorial supervision include bringing criminal offenders to accountability, ensuring the observation of legality in the work of all criminal investigative and preliminary court investigative agencies, ensuring the observation of legality in all court hearings of criminal and civil cases, ensuring the lawful execution of sentences, and ensuring the observation of legality in all detention facilities.
An important part of general procuratorial supervision consists in ensuring the full lawfulness of documents issued by ministries and departments and the institutions and enterprises subordinate to them, by the executive agencies of local soviets of working people’s deputies, and by cooperative and other public organizations. Where orders, instructions, decisions, directives, decrees, or other such documents conflict with the law, the procurator delivers a formal protest to the agency that issued the document or to its superior agency.
In order to perform their supervisory function, procurators have at their disposal such powers as the right to hear and decide complaints and petitions by citizens and to monitor compliance with the law at the actual site of an institution or enterprise. They may demand that necessary documents and information be submitted and that the appropriate officials and citizens explain violations of law that have occurred. The procurator may submit reports to state agencies and public organizations concerning the elimination of violations and the circumstances that fostered them. As for officials or citizens who have violated the law, the procurator assesses the nature of the violation and either brings the offender to criminal accountability or takes steps to bring the violator to administrative, disciplinary, or fiscal accountability. Where necessary the procurator seeks compensation for material damages caused through violation of the law.
Judicial. Judicial supervision refers to procedures carried out by courts to verify the legality and validity of sentences, decisions, orders, and decrees and to give judicial organs guidelines for applying legislation to cases being heard and for resolving disputes among courts. Judicial supervision is exercised when the following cases are heard: petitions for review or appeal of sentences, decisions, and orders that have not entered into force; appeals submitted within the regular supervision system by authorized officials of the procurator’s office and the court regarding sentences, orders, and decrees that have already entered into force (judicial supervision in the narrow sense of the term); and submission of the findings of procurators regarding newly discovered circumstances of any given case.
Another type of judicial supervision is carried out when the court decides certain disputes that arise in the course of state administration, such as those pertaining to incorrect inclusion in or incorrect exclusion from election lists, to fines improperly imposed on citizens for administrative offenses, or to actions brought to delete or alter entries in documents of civil status.
Administrative. Administrative supervision is an activity carried out by state administrative agencies to ensure that organizations, officials, and citizens observe rules established under governmental authority and to halt, prevent, and eliminate violations of legality in particular areas of administration. It is exercised by administrative agencies with regularly defined jurisdictions, such as ministries and state committees, and by specially created agencies such as the various state inspectorates.
A. P. SAFONOVA