By: Sue Armstrong To: Jesse Jones Re: The Constitution of the USSR, 1977 THe following is,

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By: Sue Armstrong To: Jesse Jones Re: The Constitution of the USSR, 1977 THe following is, AFAIK, the ENTIRE Constitution of the USSR, as ratified in 1977 under Brezhnev. Read it all and then tell me that it doesn't contain at least as much noble language as the US constitution does. While I find the preamble quite jingoistic, I find it no less propagandistic than a thousand American speeches and self-back-slapping I've heard in my lifetime. I am not claiming the government of the USSR practiced what it preached; however, I cannot honestly say I know they didn't, either, since all the info on the USSR that I grew up with came from American sources, which I no longer trust to be unbiased. A lot of this material surprised even _me_. But the question here is whether or not the Soviet constitution ever contained "noble language". I've not included any further commentary (though it was tempting), and have typed what I have verbatim. Source: The Constitutions of the Communist World, 1981 Translated by F.J.M Feldbrugge and William B. Simons. CONSTITUTION (FUNDAMENTAL LAW) OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS PREAMBLE THe Great Socialist October Revolution, carried out by the workers and peasants of Russia under the leadership of the Communist Party, headed by V. I. Lenin, overturned the power of the capitalists and landowners, broke the chains of oppression, established the dictatorship of the proletariat, and created the Soviet state - a state of a new type, the basic instrument to defend the revolutionary acheivements and to build socialism and communism. The worldwide historical turning-point of mankind from capitalism to socialism began. Having emerged victorious in the civil war and having repulsed imperialist intervention, Soviet power has wrought the most profound socio-economic transformations, forever put an end to the exploitation of man by man and to class antagonisms and national hostility. The association of Soviet Republics in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics enhanced the forces and possibilities of the people of the country for the building of socialism. Public ownership of the means of production and genuine democracy for the working masses were consilidated. For the first time in the history of mankind, a socialist society was created. The unfading feat of the Soviet people and its Armed Forces in winning an historic victory in the Great Patriotic War has become a shining manifestation of the strength of socialism. This victory strengthened the authority and the international position of the USSR and opened new favourable opportunities for the growth of the forces of socialism, national liberation, democracy, and peace throughout the world. Continuing their creative activity, the working people of the Soviet Union have ensured the rapid and all-around development of the country and the perfection of the socialist system. The union between the working class, the collective farm peasantry, and the people's intelligentsia, and the friendship between the nations and nationalities of the USSR have been consolidated. The socio-political and ideological unity of Soviet society, the leading force of which is the working class, has taken shape. Having fulfilled the tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Soviet state has become an all-people's state. The leading role of the Communist Party, the vanguard of the whole people, has grown to maturity. A developed socialist society has been built in the USSR. At this stage, as socialism is developing on its own basis, the creative forces of the new system and the advantages of the socialist way of life are becoming more and more manifest, and the working people enjoy more and more the fruits of the great revolutionary achievements: --a society in which powerful productive forces and a progressive science and culture have been created, and in which the well-being of the people is constantly growing and ever more and more favourable conditions for the all-round development of the individual are taking shape. --a society of mature socialist social relationships in which, on the basis of the rapprochement of all classes and social strata, of the legal and factual equality of all nations and nationalities, and of their fraternal cooperation, a new historical community of people - the Soviet people - has taken shape. --a society of working people - patriots and internationalists - who are to a high degree organised, ideologically committed, and conscious; --a society in which the law of life is the concern of all for the welfare of each and the concern of each for the welfare of all; --a society of genuine democracy, the political system of which ensures hte effective administration of all public affairs, the ever more active participation of the working people in the life of the state, and the combination of genuine rights and hte freedoms of citizens with their obligations and responisbility towards society. A developed socialist society is a necessary stage on the road to communism. The highest goal of the Soviet state is the building of a classless communist society in which social communist self-government will be developed. The main tasks of the socialist all-people's state are: to create the material and technical basis of communism; to perfect socialist social relationships and their transformation into communist relationships; to rear members of a communist society; to raise the material and cultural level of the life of the working people; to ensure the security of the country; and to promote the strengthening of peace and the development of international cooperation. The Soviet people, guided by the ideas of scientific communism and remaining true to their revolutionary traditions, supported by the great socio-economic and political achievements of socialsm, striving towards the further development of socialist democracy, taking into account the international position of the USSR as a component part of the world system of socialism and recognising their international responsibility, preserving the continuity of the ideas and principles of the first Soviet Constitution of 1918, the Constitution of the USSR of 1924, and the Constitution of the USSR in 1936, affirm the foundations of the social system and the policies of the USSR, establish the rights, freedoms, and obligations of citizens, and the principles of organisation and the aims of the socialist all-people's state, and procleaim them in this Constitution. [continued] To look into the eyes of the wolf is to see your soul - just be sure something you want to view is there. Chapter I: The Political System Article 1. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist all-people's state expressing the will and the interests of the workers, the peasants, and the intelligentsia, and of the working people of all the nations and nationalities of the country. Article 2. All power in the USSR belongs to the people. The people exercise state power through the Soviets of People's Deputies, which constitute the political foundation of the USSR. All other state organs are under the control of and accountable to teh Soviets of People's Deputies. Article 3. The Soviet state is organised and functions in accordance with the principle of democratic centralism: all organs of state power are elected from the lowest to the highest, they are accountable to the people, and the decisions of higher organs are binding for lower organs. Democratic centralism combines unified leadership with local initiative and creative activity and with the responsibility of every state organ and offiial for the tasts entrusted to them. Article 4. The Soviet state and all its organs function on the basis of socialist legality and ensure the protection of the legal order, the interests of society, and the rights and freedoms of citizens. Article 5. The most important questions of the life of the state are submitted for nationwide discussion and are also put to a nationwide vote (referendum). Article 6. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union is th eleading and guiding force of Soviet society and the nucleus of its political system and of state and social organisations. The CPSU exists for the people and serves the people. Armed with Marxist-Leninist doctrine, the Communist Party determines the general perspective of the development of society and the course of the domestic and foreign policy of the USSR, directs the great creative activity of the Soviet people, and imparts a planned and scientifically-sound character to their struggle for the victory of communism. All party organisations function within the framework of the Constitution of the USSR. Article 7. In accordance with their statutory functions, trade unions, the ALl-Union Leninist Communist Youth League, cooperative and other social organisations participate in the administration of state and public affairs and in the resolution of political, economic, and socio-cultural problems. Article 8. Labour collectives participate in the discussion and resolution of state and public affairs; in the planning of production and social development; in th etraining and placement of personnel; in the discussion and resolution of questions of the administration of enterprises and institutions; of the improvement of the conditions of labour and everyday life, and of the utilisation of resources allocated for the development of production as well as for socio-cultural measures and material incentives. Labour collectives develop socialist competition; promote the dissemination of progressive work-methods, and the strengthening of labour discipline; educate their members in the spirit of communist morality; and concern themselves with raising their political awareness, culture, and professional qualifications. Article 9. The basic direction of th edevelopment of the political system of the Soviet society is the further unfolding of socialist democracy; the ever-widening participation of citizens in the administration ofthe affairs of state and of society, the perfection of the state apparatus, the growth of the activity of social organisations, the strengthening of people's control, the reinforcement of the legal basis of the life of the state and of society, the extension of publicity, and premanent consideration of public opinion. Chapter II: The Economic System Article 10: The foundation of the economic system of the USSR is socialist ownership of the means of production in the form of state (all-people's) and collective-farm/cooperative ownership. Property of trade unions and other social organisations, necessary for the realisation of their statutory functions, is also socialist property. The state protects socialist ownership and creates conditions for its increase. No one has the right to use socialist property for purposes of personal gain and other selfish purposes. Aricle 11. State ownership, the common heritage of the entire Soviet people, is the basic form of socialist ownership. The land, its mineral wealth, the waters, and the forests are within the exclusive ownership of the state. The state owns the basic means of production in industry, construction, and agriculture, the means of transportation and communication, the banks, the property of commercial, municipal, and other enterprises organised by the state, the basic municipal housing fund, as well as other property necessary for the realisation of the functions of the state. Article 12. The property of collective farms and other cooperative organisations and their associations consists of the means of production and other property necessary for the realisation of their statutory functions. The land occupied by collective farms is allocated to them for their free use and for an unlimited time. The state promotes the development of collective farming/cooperative ownership and its drawing together with state ownership. Collective farms, as well as other land users, are bound to utilise land efficiently, to treat it with care, and to increase its productiveness. Article 13. Earned income constitutes the basis of personal property of citizens of the USSR. Articles of everyday use, of personal consumption and comfort, and of the subsidiary household, a dwelling and savings from labour may be held in personal ownership. Personal ownership of citizens and the right to its inheritance are protected by the state. Citizens may have the use of plots of land, made available in the manner provided by law, in order to run a subsidiary household (including the keeping of livestock and fowl), to engage in fruit and vegetable gardening, and also for individual housing construction. Citizens are bound to rationally utilise the plots of land made available to them. The state and the collective farm render aid to citizens in running their subsidiary household. Property in the personal ownership or use of citizens must not serve for the derivation of unearned income or be used to the detriment of the interests of society. Article 14. The labour of Soviet people, free from exploitation, is the source of the growth of public wealth and of the well-being of the people and of every Soviet citizen. In accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his work", the state supervises performance and consumption. It determines the rate of tax on income subject to taxation. Socially useful labour and its results determine the position of man in society. The state, combining material and moral incentives, and encouraging inventiveness and a creative attitude to work, furthers the transformation of labour into the prime necessity of life of every Soviet man and woman. Article 15. The highest goal of social production under socialism is the fullest possible satisfaction of the growing material and spiritual needs of the people. Relying on the creative activity of working people and socialist competition, and on the acheivements of scientific-technical progress, and perfecting the forms and methods of economic management, the state ensures the growth of labour productivity, the increased efficiency of production and quality of work, and a dynamic, planned, and balanced development of the national economy. Article 16. The economic system of the USSR constitutes a single economic complex embracing all units of social production, distribution, and exchange within the territory of the country. The economic system is managed on the basis of state plans of economic and social development, taking into account the branch and territorial principles, and combining centralised leadership with the economic independence and initiative of enterprises, associations, and otehr organisations. At the same time, economic accountability, profit, production costs, and other economic levers and stimuli are actively utilised. Article 17. Individual labour activity in the sphere of trades and crafts, agriculture, serving the everyday needs of the population, as well as other forms of activity based exclusively on the individual labour of citizens and the members of their families, are permitted in the USSR in accordance with the law. The state regulates individual labour activity, ensuring its utilisation in the interests of society. Article 18. In the interests of persent and future generations, the necessary measures are taken in the USSR for the protection and the scientifically-sound and rational utilisation of the land and its material wealth, water resources, the plant and animal world, for the preservation of the purity of the air and water, for safeguarding the reproduction of natural resources, and for the improvement of the human environment. Chapter III: Social development and Culture Article 19. The indestructible union of workers, peasants, and the intelligentsia constitues the social foundation of the USSR. The state promotes the strengthening of the soial homogeneousness of society, the effacement of class differences and of the essential differences between town and country and between mental and physical labour, and the all-round development and rapproachment of the nations and nationalities of the USSR. Article 20. In accordance with the communist ideal: "The free development of each is the condition for the free development of all", the state has as its goal the expansion of the actual possibilities for citizens to apply their creative forces, abilities, and talents, and for hte all-round development of the individual. Article 21. The state concerns itself with the improvement of working conditions and labour safety and the scientific organisation of labour, and with the reduction and, ultimately, with the complete elimination of heavy physical labour on the basis of the comprehensive mechanisation and automation of production processes in all branches of the national economy. Article 22. A programme of transforming agricultural labout into a variety of industrial labour; of widening in rural areas the network of institutions for public education, culture, health care, trade and public catering, services for everyday needs, and public utilities; and of transforming villages into well-appointed settlements is consistently implemented in the USSR. Article 23. On the basis of the growth of labour productivity, the state follows an unswerving course for raising the level of wages adn the real income of working people. Public funds for consumption are created in order to more fully satisfy the needs of the Soviet people. The state, with the broad participation of social organisations and labour collectives, ensures the growth and the equitable distribution of these funds. Article 24. State systems of health care, social insurance, trade and public catering, services for everyday needs, and public utilities are operated and expanded in the USSR. The state encourages the activity of cooperative and other social organisations in all spheres of services to the population. the state promotes the development of mass physical culture and sport. Article 25. In the USSR there exists and is continually perfected a single system of national education which ensures the general educational and professional training of citizens, serves the communist upbringing and the spiritual and physical development of young people, and perpares them for work and social activity. Article 26. In accordance with the needs of society, the state ensures the planned development of science and the training of scientific personnel, and organises the implementation of the results of scientific research in the national economy and in other spheres of life. Article 27. the state concerns itself with the protection, multiplication, and broad utilisation of spiritual values for the purpose of the moral and aesthetic upbringing of Soviet people and the raising of their cultural level. The development of professional art and popular artistic creativeness recieves every encouragement in the USSR. Chapter IV: Foreign Policy Article 28. The USSR unswervingly conducts a Leninist peace policy and stands for consolidation of the security of peoples and broad international cooperation. The foreign policy of the USSR is directed at ensuring favourable international conditions for hte building of communism in the USSR, defending the state interests of the Soviet Union, strengthening the positions of world socialism, supporting the struggle of peoples for national liberation and social progress, at preventing aggressive wars, bringing about universal and complete disarmament, and consistently implementing the principle of peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems. In the USSR, war propaganda is forbidden. Article 29. Relations between the USSR and other states are shaped on the basis of the observance of the principles of sovreign equality; of mutual renunciation of the use of force or the threat of force; of the inviolability of borders; of the territorial integrity of states; of the peaceful settlement of disputes; of noninterference in internal affairs; of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; of the equality of peoples adn the right of peoples to decide their own destiny; of cooperation between states; and of the conscientious fulfillment of obligations arising from generally recoognised principles and norms of international law and from treaties concluded by the USSR. Article 30. The USSR, as a component part of the world system of socialism and the socialist commonwealth, develops and strengthens friendship, cooperation, and mutual comradely assistance with the countries of socialism on the basis of the principle of socialist internationalism, and actively participates in economic integration and in the international socialist division of labour. Chapter V. Defense of the Socialist Fatherland Article 31. Defense of the socialist Fatherland is one of the most important functions of the state and is a concern of the whole people. In order to defend the socialist acheivements, the peaceful labour of the Soviet people, and the soverignty and territorial integrity of the state, the Armed Forces of the USSR have been created and universal military service has been established. The duty of the Armed Forces of the USSR to the people is reliably to defend the socialist Fatherland and to remain in constant combat readiness, guaranteeing an instant rebuff to any agressor. Article 32. The state ensures the security and defense capability of the country and equips the Armed Forces of the USSR with everything they require. The duties of state organs, social organisations, officials, and citizens in ensuring the security of th ecountry and the strengthening of its defense capability are defined by legislation of the USSR. Chapter VII. The Basic Rights, Freedoms, and Obligations of Citizens of the USSR Article 39. Citizens of the USSR enjoy the full range of the socio-economic, political, and personal rights and freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR and Soviet laws. The socialist system ensures the widening of the rights and freedoms and the continuous improvement of the living conditions of citizens in accordance with the fulfillment of the programmes of socio-economic and cultural development. In exercising their rights and freedoms, citizens may not injure the interests of society and the state or the rights of other citizens. Article 40. Citizens of the USSR have the right to work, that is, to guaranteed employment with remuneration in accordance with the quantity and quality of the work, and not lower than the minimum rate established by the state, incluing the right to choose a profession, occupation, and work in accordance with their vocation, ability, professional training, and education, taking into account the needs of society. This right is ensured by the socialist economic system, the continuous growth of the productive forces, free professional training, the improvement of work skills, training in new fields, and the development of the systems of professional guidance and job placement. Article 41. Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest. This right is ensured by establishing a workweek not exceeding 41 hours for workers and employees, and a reduced workday for a number of professions and types of work, and by reduced working hours at night; by granting annual paid leave and weekly rest days, as well as by an expansion of the network of cultural-educational and health institutions and the development of mass sports, physical culture, and tourism; by the creation of favourable possibilities for rest in one's place of residence and of other conditions for a rational use of free time. The length of working time and rest for collective farmers is regulated by the collective farms. Article 42. Citizens of the USSR have the right to health care. This right is ensured by free professional medical assistance provided by state health institutions; by expanding the network of institutions for medical treatment and improvement of the health of citizens; by the development and perfection of safety technology and industrial sanitation; by taking extensive preventive measures; by measures to improve the environment; by special care for the health of the younger generation, including the prohibition of child labour not connected with training and labour education; and by furthering scientific research aimed at the prevention of disease and the reduction of its incidence and at ensuring a long and active life for citizens. Article 43. Citizens of the USSR have the right to material security in old age, in case of illness, complete or partial loss of the ability to work, as well as of loss of the breadwinner. This right is guaranteed by the social insurance of workers, employees, and collective farmers; by allowances for temporary disability; by the payment of old-age and disability pensions, and pensions for the loss of the breadwinner at the expense of the state and of collective farms; by the employment of citizens who have partially lost the ability to work; by care for elderly citizens and invalids; and by other forms of social insurance. Article 44. Citizens of the USSR have the right to housing. This right is ensured by the development and protection of the state and social housing fund, by assistance to cooperative and individual housing construction, by a fair distribution, under social supervision, of living space made available in accordance with the realisation of the programme for the construction of well-built housing, and also by moderate payments for rent and municipal services. Citizens of the USSR are bound to treat carefully the housing made available to them. Article 45. Citizens of the USSR have the right to education. This right is ensured by free education at all levels, the implementation of universal compulsory secondary education of young people, and the extensive development of professional-technical, specialised secondary, and higher education on the basis of connecting learning with life and production; by the development of correspondence and evening education; by granting state stipends and other benefits to pupils and students; by the free issue of school textbooks; by the possibility for instruction in school in one's native language; and by the creatoin of conditions for self-education. Article 46. Citizens of the USSR have the right to use the achievements of culture. This right is ensured by the general accessibility of the treasures of national and world culture in state and public collections; by the development and balanced distribution of cultural-educational institutions within the territory of the country; by the development of television and radio, of book publishing and the periodic press, and of the network of free libraries; and by expanding cultural exchanges with foreign states. Article 47. Citizens of the USSR, in accordance with the goals of communist construction, are guaranteed freedom of scientific, technical, and artistic creation. This freedom is ensured by extensively furthering scientific research and the activities of inventors and rationalisers, and by the development of literature and the arts. The state creates the necessary material conditions for these developments and provides support to voluntary societies and creative unions, and organises the introduction of inventions and rationalisation proposals in the national economy and other spheres of life. The rights of authors, inventors, and rationalisers are protected by the state. Article 48. Citizens of the USSR have the right to participate in the administration of state and public affairs, and in the discussion and adoption of laws and decisions of general state and local significance. This right is ensured by the possibility to participate in elections for and to be elected to Soviets of People's Deputies and other elective state organs, and to take part in nationwide discussions and votes, in people's control, in the work of state organs, social organisations, and organs of social initiative, and in meetings of labour and residential collectives. Article 49. Every citizen of the USSR has the right to submit proposals to state organs and social organisations concerning the improvement of their activity and to criticise shortcomings in their work. Officials are bound to consider, within the established time-limits, the proposals and applications of citizens, to reply to these, and to take the measures necessary. Persecution on account of criticism is prohibited. Persons engaging in persecution for criticism are held responsible. Article 50. In accordance with the interests of the people and in order to strengthen and develop the socialist system, citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of meetings and of street marches, and demonstrations. The exercise of these political freedoms is ensured by making available public buildings, streets, and squares to the working people and their organisations, by the wide dissemination of information, and by the opportunity to make use of press, television, and radio. Article 51. In accordance with the goals of communist construction, citizens of the USSR have the right to unite in social organisations, which promote the development of political activity and initiative and the satisfaction of their diverse interests. Social organisations are guaranteed the conditions for the successful fulfillment of their statutory functions. Article 52. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, that is, the right to profess any religion or to profess no religion at all, and to perform religious rites, or to conduct atheist propaganda. The incitement of hostility and hatred in connection with religious beliefs is prohibited. The church in the USSR is seperated from the state, and the school from the church. Article 53. The family is under the protection of the state. Marriage is based on the voluntary consent of the woman and the man; spouses are completely equal in family relationships. The state shows concern for the family by creating and developing an extensive network of children's institutions and organisations, by organising and perfecting everyday services and public catering, by paying childbirth allowances, and by granting allowances and benefits to large families, as well as other forms of allowances and aid to the family. Article 54. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the person. No one may be arrested unless on the basis of a court order or with the sanction of the procurator. Article 55. Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the home. No one has the right, without lawful grounds, to enter a home against the will of the persons residing therein. Article 56. The private life of citizens and the secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations, and telegraph messages are protected by law. Article 57. It is the duty of all state organs, social organisations, and officials to respect the person and to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens. Citizens of the USSR have the right to judicial protection against attacks on their honour and dignity, their lives and health, and their personal freedom and property. Article 58. Citizens of the USSR have the right to address complaints against actions of officials and of state and social organs. Complaints must be considered in the manner and within the time-limits established by law. Complaints may be brought to a court, in the manner established by law, against actions which violate the law or exceed the authority of officials and which infringe the rights of citizens. Citizens of the USSR have the right to compensation for damages unflicted by unlawful actions of state and social organisations, as well as of officials, in the course of the performance of their official duties. Article 59. The exercise of rights and freedoms is inseperable from the performance by the citizen of his duties. The citizen of the USSR is bound to observe the Constitution of the USSR and Soviet laws, to respect the rules of socialist community life, and to bear with dignity the high calling of citizens of the USSR. Article 60. Conscientious labour in one's chosen field of socially useful activity and observence of labour discipline is the duty and a matter of honour for every Soviet citizen who is able to work. Avoiding socially useful work is incompatible with the principles of a socialist society. Article 61. The citizen of the USSR is bound to safeguard and strengthen socialist property. It is the duty of the citizen of the USSR to fight theft and waste of state and local property, and to treat the wealth of the people with care. Persons infringing upon socialist property are punished according to law. Article 62. The citizen of the USSR is bound to safeguard the interests of the Soviet state and to promote the growth of its power and authority. The devfense of the socialist Fatherland is the sacred duty of every citizen of the USSR. Treason to the Motherland is the gravest crime against the people. Article 63. Military service in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the USSR is the honourable duty of Soviet citizens. Article 64. It is the duty of every citizen of the USSR to respect the national dignity of other citizens and to strengthen the friendship of the nations and nationalities of the multinational Soviet state. Article 65. The citizen of the USSR is bound to respect the rights and lawful interests of other persons, to be intolerant of anti-social behaviour, and to promote in every way the protection of public order. Article 66. Citizens of the USSR are bound to show concern for the upbringing of children, to prepare them for socially useful labour, and to raise worthy members of a socialist society. Children are bound to show concern for their parents and render them aid. Article 67. Citizens of the USSR are bound to protect nature and safeguard its riches. Article 68. Concern for the preservation of historical monuments and other cultural treasures is the duty and obligation of citizens of the USSR. Article 69. It is the international duty of citizens of the USSR to promote the development of friendship and cooperation with peoples of other countries and the maintenance and strengthening of world peace. III. THE NATIONAL AND STATE STRUCTURE OF THE USSR Chapter VIII. THe USSR - A Federal State Article 70. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a unitary, federal, multinational state, formed on the basis of the principle of socialist federalism, and as the result of the free self-determination of nations, and the voluntary association of equal Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR embodies the state unity of the Soviet people and brings together all the nations and nationalities for the purpose of jointly building communism. Article 71. In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics are united: The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, The Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Azerbaidzhan Soviet Socialist Republic, The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Kirgiz Soviet Socialist Republic, The Tadzhik Soviet Socialist Republic, The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, The Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, The Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. Article 72. Each union republic retains the right freely to secede from the USSR. Article 73. The jurisdiction of th USSR; confirming the formation of new autonomous republics, through its highest organs of state power and administration, encompasses: (1) admitting new republics into the USSR; confirming the formation of new autonomous republics and autonomous provinces within the union republics; (2) determining the state border of the USSR and confirming changes of boundaries between union republics; (3) establishing general principles for the organisation and functioning of republic and loal organs of state power and administration; (4) ensuring the unity of legislative regulation within the entire territory of the USSR and establishing principles of legislation of the USSR and the union republics; (5) conducting a unified socio-economic policy and directing the economic system of the country; determining the basic directions of scientific-technical progress and the general measures for a rational utilisation and protection of natural resources; formulating and confirming the state plans of economic and social development of the USSR and confirming the state plans of economic and social development of the USSR and confirming the state plans of economic and social development of the USSR and confirming reports on their fulfillment. (6) formulating and confirming the integrated state budget of the USSR and confirming teh report on its fulfillment; directing the uniform monetary and credit system; establishing the taxes and revenues which go to form the state budget of the USSR; determining a prices and wages policy. (7) directing the branches of the national economy and the associations and enterprises of union subordination; the over-all direction of the branches of union republic subordination; (8) questions of peace and war, the defense of sovreignty and the protection of the state borders and territory of the USSR, organising defense, and directing the Armed Forces of the USSR; (9) ensuring state security; (10) representing the USSR in international relations; the contacts of the USSR with foreign states and international organisations; establishing a general procedure for and coordination of the relations of union republics with foreign states and international organisations; foreign trade and other forms of foreign economic activities on the basis of the monopoly of the state; (11) supervising the observance of the Constitution of the USSR and ensuring the conformity of the Constitutions of the union republics with the Constitution of the USSR. (12) resolving other questions of all-union importance. Article 74. The laws of the USSR have equal force within the territory of all the union republics. In the event of a discrepancy between the law of a union republic and all-union law, the law of the USSR prevails. Article 75. The territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is one and includes the territories of the union republics. The sovreignty of the USSR extends to its entire territory. Chapter I. The Soviet Socialist Union Republic Article 76. A union republic is a soverign Soviet socialist state which has united itself with other Soviet republics in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Outside the limits indicated in Article 73 of the Constitution of the USSR, a union republic independently exercises state power within its territory. A union republic has its own Constitution, which conforms to the Constitution of the USSR and takes account of the special character of the republic. Article 77. A union republic participates in the resolution of questions within the jurisdiction of the USSR in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in the Government of the USSR, and in other organs of the USSR. A union republic ensures integrated economic and social development within its territory, facilitates the exercise of the authority of the USSR within its territory and implements the dicisions of the supreme organs of state power and administration of the USSR. With regard to questions within its jurisdiction, a union republic coordinates and supervises the activities of enterprises, institutions, and organisations of union subordination. Article 78. The territory of a union republic may not be altered without its consent. The boundaries between union republics ay be altered by mutual agreement of the union republics concerned, subject to confirmation by the USSR. Article 79. A union republic determines its division into territories, provinces, areas, and districts, and resolves other questions of administrative-territorial organisation. Article 80. A union republic has hte right to enter into relations with foreign states, to conclude treaties with them and to exchange diplomatic and consular representatives, and to participate in the activities of international organisations. Article 81. The soverign rights of the union republics are protected by the USSR. Chapter X. The Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic Article 82. An autonomous republic is part of a union republic. Outside the limits of the rights of the USSR and the union republic, an autonomous republic independently resolves questions within its jurisdictions. An autonomous republic has its own Constitution, which conforms to the Constitution of the USSR and the Constitution of the union republic, and which takes into account the special character of the autonomous republic. Article 83. An autonomous republic participates in the resolution of questions within the jurisdiction of the USSR and the union republic through the surpreme organs of state power and administratoin of the USSR and the union republic respectively. The autonomous republic ensures integrated economic and social development within its territory, facilitates the eercise within its territory of the authority of the USSR and the union republic, and implements the decisions of the supreme organs of state power and administration of the USSR and teh union republic. With regard to questions within its jurisdiction, an autonomous republic coordinates and supervises the activities of enterprises, institutions, and organisations of union and republic (union republic) subordination. Article 84. The territory of the autonomous republic may not be altered without its consent. Article 85. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic contains the Bashkir, Buriat, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkar, Kalmyk, Karelian, Komi, Mari, Mordvinian, North Ossetian, Tatar, Tuva, Udmurt, Chechen-Ingush, Chuvash, and Iakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic contains the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic contains the Abkhaz and Adzhar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. The Azerbaidzhan Soviet Socialist Republic contains the Nakhi-chevan' Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Chapter XI. The Autonomous Province and Autonomous Area Article 86. An autonomous province is part of a union republic or a territory. A law on an autonomous province is adopted by the Supreme Soviet of a union republic on the recommendation of the Soviet of People's Deputies of an autonomous province. Article 87. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic contains the Adyge, Gorno-Altai, Jewish, Karachi-Cherkess, and Khakass autonomous provinces. The Georgian Soviet Soviet Socialist Republic contains the South Ossetian autonomous province. The Azerbaidzhan Soviet Socialist Republic contains the Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous province. The Tadzhik Soviet Socialist Republic contains the Gorno-Badakhistan autonomous province. Article 88. An autonomous area is part of a territory or a province. A Law on Autonomous Areas is adopted by the Supreme Soviet of a union republic. IV. SOVIETS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES AND THE PROCUDRE FOR THEIR ELECTION Chapter XII. The System and Principles of Operation of the Soviets of People's Deputies Article 89. The Soviets of People's Deputies: the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; the Supreme Soviets of the union republics; the Supreme Soviets of the autonomous republics; the territorial and privincial Soviets of People's Deputies of autonomous provinces and autonomous areas; district, city, city-district, settlement, and village Soviets of People's Deputies - constitute an integrated system of organs and state power. Article 90. The term of office of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Supreme Soviets of the union republics, and the Supreme Soviets of autonomous republics is five years. The term of office of local Soviets of People's Deputies is two and a half years. Elections for Soviets of People's Deputies are called not later than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the Soviets concerned. Article 91. The most important questions within the jurisdiction of the respective Soviets of People's Deputies are considered and resolved at their sessions. The Soviets of People's Deputies elect standing commissions and create executive and administrative, as well as other organs accountable to them. Article 92. The Soviets of People's Deputies set up organs of people's control, combining state supervision with social supervision by working people in enterprises, collective farms, institutions, and organisations. The organs of people's control supervise the fulfillment of state plans and assignments, combat violations of state discipline, manifestations of localism, a departmental approach to business, mis-management and wastefulness, red tape and bureaucracy, and they assist in perfecting the work of the state apparatus. Article 93. The Soviets of People's Deputies, directly and through organs created by them, direct all branches of state, economic, and socio-cultural construction, adopt decisions, ensure their execution, and supervise their implementation. Article 94. The activities of the Soviets of People's Deputies are based on the collective, free, and businesslike discussion and resolution of questions, on openness, on the regular accounting of executive and and administrative organs, and other organs created by the Soviets, to the Soviets, and to the population, nad on the widespread enlistent of citizens to participate in the work of the Soviets. The Soviets of People's Deputies and the organs created by them systematically inform the population about their work and the decisions taken. Chapter XIII. The Electoral System Article 95. Elections of deputies to all Soviets of People's Deputies are held on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot. Article 96. Elections of deputies are universal; all citizens of the USSR who have reached the age of 18 years have the right to vote and to be elected, with the exception of persons who have, in the manner established by law, been declared insane. A citizen of the USSR who has reached the age of 21 years may be elected as a deputy to the Supreme Soviet. Article 97. Elections of deputies are equal: each voter has one vote; all voters participate in elections on an equal basis. Article 98. Elections of deputies are direct: the deputies of all Soviets of People's Deputies are elected directly by the citizens. Article 99. The voting in elections of deputies is secret: checking on the expression of the will of the voter is not allowed. Article 100. The right to nominate candidates for election as deputies belongs to organisations of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, of trade unions, and of the All-Union Leninist Communist League of Youth, to cooperative and other social organisations, to labour collectives, as well as to assemblies of servicemen according to military units. Citizens of the USSR and social organisations are guaranteed the right to free and all-round discussion of the political, professional, and personal qualities of the candidates for election as deputies, as well as the right to campaign at meetings, in the press, and on television and radio. Epenses connected with conducting elections for Soviets of People's Deputies are borne by the state. Article 101. Elections of deputies to Soviets of People's Deputies are held on the basis of electoral districts. A citizen of the USSR may not, as a rule, be elected to more than two Soviets of People's Deputies. Elections of deputies to Soviets of People's Deputies are conducted by electoral commissions, composed of representatives of social organisations, labour collectives, and assemblies of servicemen according to military units. The procedure for conducting elections to the Soviets of People's Deputies is defined by laws of the USSR, the union republics, and the autonomous republics. Article 102. The voters give mandates to their deputies. The appropriate Soviets of People's Deputies consider the mandates of the voters, take account of them while formulating the plans of economic and socail edvelopment and drawing up of the budget, organise the implementation of mandates, and inform the citizens about their realisation. Chapter XIV. The People's Deputy Article 103. Deputies are plenipotentiary representatives of the people in the Soviets of People's Deputies. By participating in the work of the Soviets, the deputies resolve deputies resolve questions of state, economic, and socio-cultural constructoin, organise the implementation of decision of the Soviets, and supervise the work of state organs, enterprises, institutions, and organisations. In his activity, a deputy is guided by the general interests of the state, takes into account the demands of the population of his constituency, and seeks to implement the mandates of his constituents. Article 104. A deputy eercises his powers without interrupting his work in production or service. During the sessions of the Soviet, as well as in order to exercise the powers of a deputy in other instances provided for by law, the deputy is relieved from performing his duties in production or service, while retaining his average earnings at his place of permanent employment. Article 105. A deputy has rights to address inquiries to the appropriate state organs and officials, who are obliged to answer the inquiries at the session of the Soviet. A deputy has the right to address himself to all state and social organs, enterprises, institutions, and organisations concerning questions within the scope of his activity as a deputy, and to participate in the consideration of the questions raised by him. The heads of the state and social organs, enterprises, institutions, and organisations concerned are obliged to receive the deputy without delay and to consider his proposals within the established time-limit. Article 106. A deputy is ensured the conditions for the unhindered and effective exercise of his rights and execution of his duties. The immunity of deputies, as well as other guarantees of a deputy's activities, are established by the Law on the Status of Deputies and by other legislative acts of the USSR and the union and autonomous republics. Article 107. A deputy is obliged to report on his work and the work of the Soviet to his constituents, as well as to the collectives and social organisations which nominated him as a candidate for election. A deputy, who has not justified the trust of his constituents, may at any time be recalled by a decision of a majority of hsi constituents in the manner established by law. V. THE SUPREME ORGANS OF STATE POWER AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE USSR Chapter XV. The Supreme Soviet of the USSR Article 108. The supreme organ of state power of the USSR is the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The Supreme Soviet of the USSR is empowered to decide all questions assigned to the jurisdiction of the USSR by the present Constitution. The adoption of the Constitution of the USSR and of admendments therein; the admission of new republics to teh USSR adn the confirmation of the formation of new autonomous republics and autonomous provinces; the confirmation of state plans of economic and social development of the USSR, and of the state budget os the USSR and the reports on their fulfillment; and the formation of USSR organs accountable to the Supreme Soviet - are within the exclusive competence of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Laws of the USSR are adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, or by a nationwide vote (referendum) conducted on the basis of a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 109. The Supreme Soviet of the USSR consists of two chambers: the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. The chambers of the Supreme Soviet have equal rights. Article 110. The Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities consist of an equal number of deputies. The Soviet of the Union is elected on the basis of electoral districts with an equal number of inhabitants. The Soviet of Nationalities is elected according to the following formula: 32 deputies from each union republic, 11 deputies from each autonomous republic, 5 deputies from each autonomous province, and one deputy from each autonomous area. On the recommendation of the mandates commission elected by them, the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities decide on the recognition of the credentials of the deputies and, in the event of a violation of electoral legislation, on finding the election of individual deputies null and void. Article 111. Each chamber of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR elects a Chairman of the chamber and four Deputy Chairmen. The Chairmen of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities preside over the meetings of the respective chambers and are in charge of their proceedings. The Chairmen of teh Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities alternately conduct the joint meetings of the chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 112. Sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR are convened twice a year. Extraordinary sessions are convened by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at its own initiative, as well as on the proposal of one of the union republics or of not less than one-third of the deputies of one of the chambers. A session of the Supreme soviet of the USSR consists of seperate and joint meetings of the chambers, as well as of meet6ings of standing commissions of the chambers or commissions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR held between sessions. A session is opened and closed at seperate or joint meetings of the chambers. Article 113. The right of legislative initiative in the Supreme Soviet of the USSR belongs to the Soviet of the Union, the Soviet of Nationalities, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the union republics through their supreme organs of state power, commissions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and standing commissions of its chambers, deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Supreme Court of the USSR, and the Procurator General of the USSR. Social organisations, through their all-union organs, also enjoy the right of legislative initiative. Article 114. Draft bills and other questions, referred for consideration to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, are discussed by the chambers at their seperate or joint meetings. When necessary, the draft bill, or, as the case may be, the question may be referred for preliminary or additinal consideration to one or several commissions. A law of the USSR is considered adopted if, in each of the chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, a majority of the total number of deputies voted in favour of it. Decrees and other acts of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR are adopted by a majority of the total number of deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Draft bills and other highly important questions of the life of the state may be submitted to a nationwide discussion by a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, adopted at their own initiative, or on the proposal of a union republic. Article 115. In the event of disagreement between the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities, the question is referred for settlement to a conciliation commission, formed by the chambers on a parity basis, after which the question is considered a second time by the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities at a joint meeting. If even in such a case no agreement is reached, the question is carried over for consideration at the next session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or is submitted by the latter to a nationwide vote (referendum). Article 116. Laws of the USSR, decrees, and other acts of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR are published in the languages of the union republics over hte signatures of the Chairman and Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 117. A deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR ahs the right to address inquiries to the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and to ministers and heads of other organs formed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Teh Council of Ministers of the USSR or the offical to whom an inquiry has been addressed is obliged to give an oral or written reply at the given session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR within a period of three days. Article 118. A deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR may not be prosecuted, arrested or subjected to judicially imposed administrative penalities without the consent of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and, during the time between its sessions, without the consent of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 119. At a joint meeting of the chambers, the Supreme Soviet of teh USSR elects the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the permanently functioning organ of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, accountable to the latter in all its activities and exercising, within the limits provided for by the Constitution, the functions of the supreme organ of state power of the USSR during the time between sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 120. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR is elected from among the deputies and consists of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the First Deputy Chairman, fifteen Deputy Charimen - one from each union republic, the Secretary of the Presidium, and twenty-one members of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 121. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR: (1) calls elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; (2) convenes the sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; (3) coordinates the activities of the standing commissions of the chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; (4) supervises the observance of the Constitution of the USSR and ensures that the Constitution and laws of the union republics conform to the Constitution and laws of the USSR; (5) interprets the laws of the USSR; (6) ratifies and denounces treaties to which the USSR is a party; (7) annuls decrees and resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and of Councils of Ministers of union republics where they do not conform to the law; (8) establishes military and diplomatic ranks adn otehr special ranks; confers military and diplomatic ranks and other special ranks; (9) institutes orders and medals of the USSR; establishes honorary titles of the USSR; awards orders and medals of the USSR; confers honorary titles of the USSR; (10) admits persons to citizenship of the USSR and decides questions of the renunciation and deprivation of citizenship of the USSR and of granting asylum; (11) issues all-union acts of amnesty and grants pardon; (12) appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the USSR to foreign states and at international organisations; (13) accepts credentials and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives of foreign states accredited to it; (14)forms the Council of Defense of the USSR and confirms its composition, appoints and replaces the high command of the Armed Forces of the USSR; (15) proclaims, in the intersts of defense of the USSR, martial law in specific localities or for the whole country; (16) proclaims general or partial mobilisations; (17) during the time between the sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, procmains a state of war in the event of a military attack on the USSR or when necessary to fulfill treaty obligations concerning mutual defense against agression; (18) exercises other powers established by the Constitution and laws of the USSR. Article 122. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of th USSR, during the time between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, and with subsequent submission for confirmation at the next session of the Supreme Soviet: (1) amends, when necessary, legislative acts of the USSR in force; (2) confirms boundary changes between union republics; (3) forms and abolishes ministries of the USSR and state committees of the USSR on the proposal of the Council of Ministers of the USSR; (4) dismisses and appoints individual persons as members of the Coucil of Ministers of the USSR on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Article 123. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issues edicts and adopts resolutions. Article 124. Upon expiration of the term of office of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Chapter XVI. The Council and Ministers of the USSR Article 128. The Council of Ministers of the USSR - the Government of the USSR - is the supreme executive and administrative organ of state power of the USSR. Article 129. The Council of Ministers of the USSR is set up by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR at a joint meeting of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities and is composed of: the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, First Deputy Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen, the ministers of the USSR, and chairmen of the state committees of the USSR. The chairmen of the Councils of Ministers of the union republics are members of the Council of Ministers of the USSR by virtue of their office. On the recommendation of the Chairmen of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR may include the heads of other organs and organisations of the USSR as members of the Government of the USSR. The Council of Ministers of the USSR lays down its powers before the newly-elected Supreme Soviet of the USSR at the first session of the latter. Article 130. The Council of Ministers of the USSR is responsible and accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and, during the time between the sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, to the Presidium of the USSR, to whom it is accountable. The Council of Ministers of the USSR regularly reports on its work to the Supreme Soviet of hte USSR. Article 131. The Council of Ministers of the USSR is empowered to resolve all questions of state administration within the jurisdiction of the USSR insofar as they do not, according to the Constitution, come within the competence of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. WIthin the limits of its authority, the Council of Ministers of the USSR: (1) ensures the management of the national economy and socio-cultural construction; formulates and takes measures to ensure the growth of the well-being and culture of the people, to develop science and technology, to rationally utilise and protect natural resources, to strengthen the monetary and credit system, to implement a uniform policy of prices, wages, social welfare, and state insurance organisation, and a uniform system of accounting and statistics; organises the administration of industrial, construction, and agricultural enterprises and associations, transport and communications enterprises, banks, as well as other organisations nad institutions of union subordination; (2) formulates and submits to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR current and long-range state plans of the economic and social development of the USSR and the state budget of the USSR; takes measures to implement state plans and the budget; submits reports on the fulfillment of the plans and the budget to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; (3) takes measures to defend the interests of the state, to protect socialist property and public order, and to safeguard and defend the rights and freedoms of citizens; (4) takes measures to ensure state security; (5) exercises general leadership over the organisation of the Armed Forces of the USSR and determines the annual contingents of citizens subject to be called up for active military service; (6) exercises general leadership in the field of relations with foreign states, foreign trade, and economic, scientific-technical, and cultural cooperation of the USSR with foreign countries; takes measures to ensure the fulfillment of treaties of the USSR; confirms and denounces intergovernmental treaties; (7) sets up, when necessary, committees, chief administrations, and other departments attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR for matters of economic, socio-cultural, and defense organisation. Article 132. The Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, consisting og the Chairmean of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the First Deputy Charimen and the Deputy Chairmen, functions as a permanent organ of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for the resolution of questions connected with ensuring the management of the national economy and other questions of state administration. Article 133. The Council of Ministers of the USSR, on the basis and in pursuance of laws of the USSR and other decisions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and its Presidium, issues decrees and resolutions and verifies their execution. The execution of decrees and resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the USSR is obligatory throughout the territory of the USSR. Article 134. The Council of Ministers of the USSR, in questions within the jurisdiction of the USSR, has the right to suspend the execution of decrees and resolutions of the Councils of Ministers of the union republics, as well as to annual acts of ministries of the USSR, state committees of the USR, and other organs subordinate to it. Article 135. The Council of Ministers of the USSR coordinates and directs th ework of all-union republic ministries and state committees of the USSR, and other organs subordinate to it. All-union ministries and state commitees of the USSR direct the branches of administration entrusted to them or exercise inter-branch control, as a rule, through the correspeonding ministries, state committees, and other organs of the union republics, and administer directly the individual enterprises and associations of union subordinations. The manner of transferring enterprises and associations of republic or local subordination to union subordination is determined by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Ministries and state committees of the USSR are responsible for the state and the edvelopment of the spheres of administration entrusted to them; they issue acts within the limites of their competence and on the basis and in pursuance of the laws of hte USSR, other decisions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and its Presidium, and decrees and resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the USSRl and they organise and verify their execution. Article 136. The competence of the Council of Ministers of th eUSSR and its Presidium, the procedure of their activity, the relations of the Council of Ministers with other state organs, as well as the list of all-union and union republic ministries and state commitees of the USSR are defined, on the basis of the Constitution, by the Law on the Council of Ministers of the USSR. VI. PRINCIPLES OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE ORGANS OF STATE POWER AND ADMINISTRATION IN THE UNION REPUBLICS Chapter XVII. The Supreme Organs of State Power and Administration of a Union Republic Article 137. The supreme organ of state power of a union republic is the Supreme Soviet of the union republic. The Supreme Soviet of a union republic is empowered to resolve all questions assigned to the jurisdiction of the union republic by the Constitution of the USSR and the Constitution of the union republic. The adoption of the Constitution of a union republic and of amendments therin, the confirmation of state plans of economic and social development, of the state budget of the union republic nad reports on their fulfillment; the formation of organs accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the union republic - belong to the exclusive competence of the union republic. Laws of a union republic are adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the union republic or by a national vote (referendum) conducted on the basis of a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the union republics. Article 138. The Supreme Soviet of a union republic elects hte Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the permanently functioning organ of the Supreme Soviet of the union republic, accountable to the latter in all its activities. The composition and powers of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of a union republic are defined by the Constitution of the union republic. Article 139. The Supreme Soviet of a union republic sets up the Council of Ministers of the union republic - the Government of the union republic - the supreme executive and administrative organ of state power of the union republic. The Council of Ministers of a union republic is responsible and accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the union republic and, during the time between the sessions of the Supreme Soviet, to the Presidium of th esUpreme Soviet of the union republic, to whom it is accountable. Article 140. The Council of Ministers of a union republic issues decrees and resultions on the basis and in pursuance of legislative acts of the USSR and the union republic, and of decrees and resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and organises and verifies their execution. Article 141. The Council of Ministers of a union republic has the right to suspend the execution of decrees and resolutions of the Councils of Ministers of autonomous republics and to annul decisions and resolutions of executive committees of territorial, provincial, and city (in cities of republican subordination) Soviets of People's Deputies, of Soviets of Poeple's deputies of autonomous provinces, and in union republics not divided into provinces, of executive committees of district and corresponding city Soviets of People's Deputies. Article 142. The Council of Ministers of a union republic coordinates and directs the work of union republic and republic ministries and state committees of the union republic, and other organs subordinate to it. Union republic ministries and state committees of a union republic direct the branches of administration entrusted to them or exercise inter-branch control, being subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the union republic, as well as to the corresponding union republic ministry of the USSR or state committee of the USSR. Republic ministries and state committees direct the branches of administration entrusted to them or exercise inter-branch control, being subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the Union Republic. Chapter XVIII. The Supreme Organs of State Power and Administration of an Autonomous Republic Article 143. The supreme organ of state power of an autonomous republic is the Supreme Soviet of the autonomous republic. Teh adoption of the Constitution of an autonomous republic and of amendments therein; the confirmation of state plans of economic and social development, as well as of the state budget of the autonomous republic; the formation of organs accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the autonomous republic - belong to the exclusive competence of the Supreme Soviet of the autonomous republic. Laws of an autonomous republic are adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the autonomous republic. Article 144. The Supreme Soviet of an autonomous republic elects the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the autonomous republic and sets up the Council of Ministers of the autonomous republic - the Government of the autonomous republic. Chapter XIX. Local Organs of State Power and Administration Article 145. The organs of state power in the territories, provinces, autonomous provinces, autonomous areas, districts, cities, city-districts, settlements, and rural settlements are the corresponding Soviets of People's Deputies. Article 146. Local Soviets of People's Deputies resolve all questions of local importance, keeping in mind general state interests and the interests of the citizens living in the territory of the Soviet, implement the decisions of higher state organs, direct the activity of lower-level Soviets of People's Deputies, and also participate in the discussion of questions of republic and all-union importance, and submit proposals concerning these questions. Within their territory, local Soviets of People's Deputies direct state, economic, and socio-cultural organisation; confirm plans of economic and social development and the local budget; exercise leadership over the activities of state organs, enterprises, institutions, and organisations, subordinate to them; ensure observance of laws, the protection of state and public order and of the rights of citizens; and promote the strengthening of the defense capability of the country. Article 147. Within the limits of their authority, local Soviets of People's Deputies ensure integrated economic and socal development within their territory; supervise the observance of legislation by enterprises, institutions, and organisations subordinate to higher bodies and located on this territory; coordinate and supervise their activities in the fields of land use, protection of nature, construction, utlisation of labour resources, production of consumer goods, and socio-cultural services, services for everyday needs, and other services for the population. Article 148. Local Soviets of People's Deputies adopt decisions within limits of the authority granted to them by the legislation of the USSR, the union republic, and the autonomous republic. The execution of decisions of local Soviets is obligatory for all enterprises, institutions, and organisations localed on the territory of the Soviet, as well as for officials and citizens. Article 149. The executive committees elected by the local Soviets from among their deputies are the executive and administrative organs of the local Soviets of People's Deputies. Executive committees report at lesat once a year to the Soviets which have elected them, as well as at meetings of labour collectives and at citizens' places of residence. Article 150. Executive commitees of local Soviets of People's Deputies are directly accountable to teh Soviet which has also elected them, as well as to the higher executive administrative organ. VII. THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE, ARBITRATION, AND PROCURATORIAL SUPERVISION Chapter XX. Courts and Arbitration. Article 151. Justice in the USSR is administered only by the courts. In the USSR function the Supreme Court of the USSR; Supreme Courts of union republics; Supreme Courts of autonomous republics; territorial, provincial, and city courts; courts of autonomous provinces; courts of autonomous areas; district (city) people's courts; as well as military tribunals in the Armed Forces. Article 152. All courts in the USSR are formed on the principle that judges and people's assessors are elected. People's judges of district (city) people's courts are elected for a term of five years by secret ballot by the citizens of the district (city) on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage. People's assessors of district (city) people's courts are elected for a term of two and a half years by open ballot at meetings of citizens at their place of work or residenec. Higher courts are elected for a term of five years by the corresponding Soviets of People's Deputies. Judges of military tribunals are elected for a term of five years by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of hte USSR, and people's assessors for a term of two and a half years by meetings of servicemen. Judges and people's assessors are responsible to their constituents or to the organs which have elected them, report to them, and may be recalled by them in the manner established by law. Article 153. The Supreme Court of the USSR is the supreme judicial organ of the USSR and supervises the judicial activities of the courts of the USSR, as well as of the courts of the union republics within the limits established by law. The Supreme Court of the USSR is elected by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and consists of the chairman, his deputies, members, and people's assessors. The chairmen of the Supreme Courts of the union republics are members of the Supreme Court of the USSR by virtue of their office. The organisation and manner of operation of the Supreme Court of the USSR are defined by the Law on the Supreme Court of the USSR. Article 154. In all courts, civil and criminal cases are considered by a panel; in the court of the first instance - with the participation of people's assessors. In the administration of justice, people's assessors enjoy all the rights of a judge. Article 155. Judges and poeple's assessors are independent and subject only to law. Article 156. Justice is administered in hte USSR on the principle of the equality of the citizens before the law nad the court. Article 157. The examination of cases in all courts is open. The hearing of cases in a closed session of the court is permitted only in cases established by law and with the observance of all the rules of court procedure. Article 158. The accused is assured the right to defense. Article 159. Judicial proceedings are conducted in teh language of the union republic or autonomous republic, of the autonomous province, the autonomous area, or the language of the majority of the population of the given locality. The right fully to familiarise oneself with the materials of the case, participation in court proceedings through an interpreter, and the right to address the court in one's native language are ensured to persons who take part in a case and do not master the language in which the proceedings are conducted. Article 160. No one may be convicted of the commission of a crime, as well as be subjected to criminal punishment other than by a judgement of the court and in accordance with the law. Article 161. There are colleges of advocates to render legal assistance to citizens and organisations. In cases provided for by legislation, citizens receive legal assistance free of charge. The organisation and manner of operation of the Bar are defined by legislation of the USSR and union republics. Article 162. The participation of representatives of social organisations and labour collectives is permitted in judicial proceedings in civil and criminal cases. Article 163. Economic disputes between enterprises, institutions, and organisations are resolved by the organs of state arbitration within the limits of their competence. The organisation and manner of operation of the organs of state arbitration are defined by the Law on State Arbitration of the USSR. Chapter XXI. The Procuracy. Article 164. The Procurator General of the USSR and his subordinate procurators are charged with the supreme supervision over the exact and uniform execution of hte law by all ministries, state committees, and departments, enterprises, institutions, and organisations, executive and administrative organs of local Soviets of People's Deputies, collective farms, cooperative and otehr social organisations, officials, as well as citizens. Article 165. The Procurator General of the USSR is appointed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, is responsible and accountable to it, and during the time between the sessions of the Supreme Soviet, to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of teh USSR, to whom he is accountable. Article 166. The procurators of the union republics, autonomous republics, territories, provinces, and autonomous provinces are appoitned by the Procurator General of the USSR. The procurators of autonomous areas and districts and city procurators are appointed by the procurators of the union republics and confirmed by the Procurator General of the USSR. Article 167. The term of office of the Procurator General of the USSR and all procurators of lower rank is five years. Article 168. The organs of the Procuracy exercise their powers independently from any local organs whatsoever and are subordinate only to the Procurator General of the USSR. The organisation and manner of operation of the organs of hte Procuracy are defined by the Law on the Procuracy of the USSR. VIII. THE ARMS, FLAG, ANTHEM, AND CAPITAL OF THE USSR Article 169. The state arms of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics consists of a representation of a sickle and hammer against the background of a globe, in the rays of hte sun and framed by ears of grain, with an inscription in the languages of the union republics: "Proletarians of All Countries, Unite!". There is a five-pointed star in the upper part of the arms. Article 170. The state flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics consists of a rectangular red cloth with a representation in its upper corner, near the staff, of a golden sickle and hammer, and over them a red five-pointed star, edged in gold. The ratio of the width of the flag to its length is 1:2. Article 171. The state anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is confirmed by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Article 172. The capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is the city of Moscow. IX. THE OPERATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE USSR AND THE PROCEDURE FOR ITS AMENDMENT Article 173. The Constitution of the USSR has supreme legal force. All laws and other acts of state organs aer issued on the basis of and in accordance with the Constitution of the USSR. Article 174. The Constitution of the USSR is amended by a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, adopted by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total number of deputies of each of its chambers. [EOF .. whew.]

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