CONSTITUTION OF THE USSR (1977)


                                 CONSTITUTION
                               (FUNDAMENTAL LAW)
                                 OF THE UNION
                              OF SOVIET SOCIALIST
                                   REPUBLICS

                            Adopted at the Seventh
                             (Special) Session of
                              the Supreme Soviet
                                 of the USSR,
                              Ninth Convocation,
                              On October 7, 1977

                     Novosti Press Agency Publishing House
                                 Moscow, 1985


Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

     The Great October Socialist Revolution, made by the workers and peasants 
of Russia under the leadership of the Communist Party headed by Lenin, 
overthrew capitalist and landowner rule, broke the fetters of oppression, 
established the dictatorship of the proletariat, and created the Soviet state, 
a new type of state, the basic instrument for defending the gains of the 
revolution and for building socialism and communism.  Humanity thereby began 
the epoch-making turn from capitalist to socialism.

     After achieving victory in the Civil War and repulsing imperialist 
intervention, the Soviet government carried through far-reaching social and 
economic transformations, and put an end once and for all to exploitation of 
man by man, antagonisms between classes, and strive between nationalities.  
THe unification of the Soviet Republics in the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics multiplied the forces and opportunities of the peoples of the 
country in the building of socialism.  Social ownership of the means of 
production and genuine democracy for the working masses were established.  For 
the first time in the history of mankind a socialist society was created. 

     The strength of socialism was vividly demonstrated by the immortal feat 
of the Soviet people and their Armed Forces in achieving their historic 
victory in the Great Patriotic War.  This victory consolidated the influence 
and international standing of the Soviet Union and created new opportunities 
for growth of the forces of socialism, national liberation, democracy, and 
peace throughout the world. 

     Continuing their creative endeavors, the working people of the Soviet 
Union have ensured rapid, all-round development of the country and steady 
improvement of the socialist system.  They have consolidated the alliance of 
the working class, collective-farm peasantry, and people's intelligentsia, and 
friendship of the nations and nationalities of the USSR.  Socio-political and 
ideological unity of Soviet society, in which the working class is the leading 
force, has been achieved.  THe aims of the dictatorship of the proletariat 
having been fulfilled, the Soviet state has become a state of the whole 
people.  The leading role of the Communist Party, the vanguard of all the 
people, has grown. 

     In the USSR a developed socialist society has been built.  At this stage, 
when socialism is developing on its own foundations, the creative forces of 
the new system and the advantages of the socialist way of life are becoming 
increasingly evident, and the working people are more and more widely enjoying 
the fruits of their great revolutionary gains. 

     It is a society in which powerful productive forces and progressive 
science and culture have been created, in which the well-being of the people 
is constantly rising, and more and more favourable conditions are being 
provided for the all-round development of the individual. 

     It is a society of mature socialist social relations, in which, on the 
basis of the drawing together of all classes and social strata and of the 
juridical and factual equality of all its nations and nationalities and their 
fraternal co-operation, a new historical community of people has been formed--
the Soviet people. 

     It is a society of high organisational capacity, ideological commitment, 
and consciousness of the working people, who are patriots and 
internationalists. 

     It is a society in which the law of life is concern of all for the good 
of each and concern of each for the good of all. 

     It is a society of true democracy, the political system of which ensures 
effective management of all public affairs, ever more active participation of 
the working people in running the state, and the combining of citizen's real 
rights and freedoms with their obligations and responsibility to society. 

     Developed socialist society is a natural, logical stage on the road to 
communism. 

     The supreme goal af the Soviet state is the building of a classless 
communist society in which there will be public, communist self-government.  
The main aims of the people's socialist state are: to lay the material and 
technical foundation of communism, to perfect socialist social relations and 
transform them into communist relations, to mould the citizen of communist 
society, to raise the people's living and cultural standards, to safeguard the 
country's security, and to further the consolidation of peace and development 
of international co-operation. 

     The Soviet people, 

     guided by the ideas of scientific communism and true to their 
revolutionary traditions, 

     relying on the great social, economic, and political gains of socialism, 

     striving for the further development of socialist democracy, 

     taking into account the international position of the USSR as part of the 
world system of socialism, and conscious of their internationalist 
responsibility, 

     preserving continuity of the ideas and principles of the first Soviet 
Constitution of 1918, the 1924 Constitution of the USSR and the 1936 
Constitution of the USSR, 

     hereby affirm the principle so the social structure and policy of the 
USSR, and define the rights, freedoms and obligations of citizens, and the 
principles of the organisation of the socialist state of the whole people, and 
its aims, and proclaim these in this Constitution. 


I. PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND POLICY OF THE USSR

Chapter 1: THE POLITICAL SYSTEM

     Article 1.  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a socialist state 
of the whole people, expressing the will and interests of the workers, 
peasants, and intelligentsia, 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 Soviets of People's Deputies, 
which constitute the political foundation of the USSR. 
     All other state bodies are under the control of, and accountable to, the 
Soviets of People's Deputies. 

     Article 3.  The Soviet state is organised and functions on the principle 
of democratic centralism, namely the electiveness of all bodies of state 
authority from the lowest to the highest, their accountability to the people, 
and the obligation of lower bodies to observe the decisions of higher ones.  
Democratic centralism combines central leadership with local initiative and 
creative activity and with the responsibility of the each state body and 
official for the work entrusted to them. 

     Article 4.  The Soviet state and all its bodies function on the basis of 
socialist law, ensure the maintenance of law and order, and safeguard the 
interests of society and the rights and freedoms of citizens. 
     State organisations, public organisations and officials shall observe the 
Constitution of the USSR and Soviet laws. 

     Article 5.  Major matters of state shall be submitted to nationwide 
discussion and put to a popular vote (referendum). 

     Article 6.  The leading and guiding force of the Soviet society and the 
nucleus of its political system, of all state organisations and public 
organisations, is the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.  The CPSU exists 
for the people and serves the people. 
     The Communist Party, armed with Marxism-Leninism, determines the general 
perspectives of the development of society and the course of the home and 
foreign policy of the USSR, directs the great constructive work of the Soviet 
people, and imparts a planned, systematic and theoretically substantiated 
character to their struggle for the victory of communism 
     All party organisations shall function within the framework of the 
Constitution of the USSR. 

     Article 7.  Trade unions, the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League 
co-operatives, and other public organisations, participate, in accordance with 
the aims laid down in their rules, in managing state and public affairs, and 
in deciding political, economic, and social an cultural matters. 

     Article 8.  Work collectives take part in discussing and deciding state 
and public affairs, in planning production and social development, in training 
and placing personnel, and in discussing and deciding matters pertaining to 
the management of enterprises and institutions, and the use of funds allocated 
both for developing production and for social and cultural purposes and 
financial incentives. 
     Work collectives promote socialist emulation, the spread of progressive 
methods of work, and the strengthening of production discipline, educate their 
members in the spirit of communist morality, and strive to enhance their 
political consciousness and raise their cultural level and skills and 
qualifications. 

     Article 9.  The principal direction in the development of the political 
system of Soviet society is the extension of socialist democracy, namely ever 
broader participation of citizens in managing the affairs of society and the 
state, continuous improvement of the machinery of state, heightening of the 
activity of public organisations, strengthening of the system of people's 
control, consolidation of the legal foundations of the functioning of the 
state and of public life, greater openness and publicity, and constant 
responsiveness to public opinion. 

Chapter 2: 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 property 
(belonging to all the people), and collective farm-and-co-operative property. 
     Socialist ownership also embraces the property of trade unions and other 
public organisations which they require to carry out their purposes under 
these rules. 
     The state protects socialist property and provides conditions for its 
growth. 
     No one has the right to use socialist property for person gain or other 
selfish ends. 

     Article 11.  State property, i. e. the common property of the Soviet 
people, is the principal form of socialist property. 
     The land, its minerals, waters, and forests are the exclusive property of 
the state.  The state owns the basic means of production in industry, 
construction, and agriculture; means of transport and communication; the 
banks; the property of state-run trade organisations and public utilities, and 
other state-run undertakings; most urban housing; and other property necessary 
for state purposes. 

     Article 12.  The property of collective farms and other co-operative 
organisations, and of their joint undertakings, comprises the means of 
production and other assets which they require for the purposes laid down in 
their rules. 
     The land held by collective farms is secured to them for their free use 
in perpetuity. 
     The state promotes development of collective farm-and-co-operative 
property and its approximation to state property. 
     Collective farms, like other land users, are obliged to make effective 
and thrifty use of the land and to increase its fertility. 

     Article 13.  Earned income forms the basis of the personal property of 
Soviet citizens.  THe personal property of citizens of the USSR may include 
articles of everyday use, personal consumption and convenience, the implements 
and other objects of a small-holding, a house, and earned savings.  The 
personal property of citizens and the right to inherit it are protected by the 
state. 
     Citizens may be granted the use of plots of land, in the manner 
prescribed by law, for a subsidiary small-holding (including the keeping of 
livestock and poultry), for fruit and vegetable growing or for building an 
individual dwelling.  Citizens are required to make rational use of the land 
allotted to them.  THe state, and collective farms provide assistance to 
citizens in working their small-holdings. 
     Property owned or used by citizens shall not serve as a means of deriving 
unearned income or be employed to the detriment of the interests of society. 

     Article 14. The source of the growth of social wealth and of the well-
being of the people, and of each individual, is the labour, free from 
exploitation, of Soviet people. 
     The state exercises control over the measure of labour and of consumption 
in accordance with the principle of socialism: "From each according to his 
ability, to each according to his work".  It fixes the rate of taxation on 
taxable income. 
     Socially useful work and its results determine a person's status in 
society.  By combining material and moral incentives and encouraging 
innovation and a creative attitude to work, the state helps transform labour 
into the prime vital need of every Soviet citizen. 

     Article 15.  The supreme goal of social production under socialism is the 
fullest possible satisfaction of the people's growing material, and cultural 
and intellectual requirements. 
     Relying on the creative initiative of the working people, socialist 
emulation, and scientific and technological progress, and by improving the 
forms and methods of economic management, the state ensures growth of the 
productivity of labour, raising of the efficiency of production and of the 
quality of work, and dynamic, planned, proportionate development of the 
economy. 

     Article 16.  The economy of the USSR is an integral economic complex 
comprising all the elements of social production, distribution, and exchange 
on its territory. 
     The economy is managed on the basis of state plans for economic and 
social development, with due account of the sectoral and territorial 
principles, and by combining centralised direction with the managerial 
independence and initiative of individual and amalgamated enterprises and 
other organisations, for which active use is made of management accounting, 
profit, cost, and other economic levers and incentives. 

     Article 17.  In the USSR, the law permits individual labour in 
handicrafts, farming, the provision of services for the public, and other 
forms of activity based exclusively on the personal work of individual 
citizens and members of their families.  The state makes regulations for such 
work to ensure that it serves the interest of society. 

     Article 18.  In the interests of the present and future generations, the 
necessary steps are taken in the USSR to protect and make scientific, rational 
use of the land and its mineral and water resources, and the plant and animal 
kingdoms, to preserve the purity of air and water, ensure reproduction of 
natural wealth, and improve the human environment. 

Chapter 3: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND CULTURE

     Article 19.  The social basis of the USSR is the unbreakable alliance of 
the workers, peasants, and intelligentsia. 
     The state helps enhance the social homogeneity of society, namely the 
elimination of class differences and of the essential distinctions between 
town and country and between mental and physical labour, and the all-round 
development and drawing together of all the nations and nationalities of the 
USSR. 

     Article 20.  In accordance with the communist ideal--"The free 
development of each is the condition of the free development of all"--the 
state pursues the aim of giving citizens more and more real opportunities to 
apply their creative energies, abilities, and talents, and to develop their 
personalities in every way. 

     Article 21.  The state concerns itself with improving working conditions, 
safety and labour protection and the scientific organisation of work, and with 
reducing and ultimately eliminating all arduous physical labour through 
comprehensive mechanisation and automation of production processes in all 
branches of the economy. 

     Article 22.  A programme is being consistently implemented in the USSR to 
convert agricultural work into a variety of industrial work, to extend the 
network of educational, cultural, and medical institutions, and of trade, 
public catering, service and public utility facilities in rural localities, 
and transform hamlets and villages into well-planned and well-appointed 
settlements. 

     Article 23.  The state pursues a steady policy of raising people's pay 
levels and real incomes through increase in productivity. 
     In order to satisfy the needs of Soviet people more fully social 
consumption funds are created.  The state, with the broad participation of 
public organisations and work collectives, ensures the growth and just 
distribution of these funds. 

     Article 24.  In the USSR, state systems of health protection, social 
security, trade and public catering, communal services and amenities, and 
public utilities, operate and are being extended. 
     The state encourages co-operatives and other public organisations to 
provide all types of services for the population.  It encourages the 
development of mass physical culture and sport. 

     Article 25.  In the USSR there is a uniform system of public education, 
which is being constantly improved, that provides general education and 
vocational training for citizens, serves the communist education and 
intellectual and physical development of the youth, and trains them for work 
and social activity. 

     Article 26.  In accordance with society's needs, the state provides for 
planned development of science and the training of scientific personnel and 
organises introduction of the results of research in the economy and other 
spheres of life. 

     Article 27.  The state concerns itself with protecting, augmenting and 
making extensive use of society's cultural wealth for the moral and aesthetic 
education of the Soviet people, for raising their cultural level. 
     In the USSR development of the professional, amateur and folk arts is 
encouraged in every way. 

Chapter 4: FOREIGN POLICY

     Article 28.  The USSR steadfastly pursues a Leninist policy of peace and 
stands for strengthening of the security of nations and broad international 
co-operation. 
     The foreign policy of the USSR is aimed at ensuring international 
conditions favourable for building communism in the USSR, safeguarding the 
state interests of the Soviet Union, consolidating the positions of world 
socialism, supporting the struggle of peoples for national liberation and 
social progress, preventing wars of aggression, achieving universal and 
complete disarmament, and consistently implementing the principle of the 
peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems. 
     In the USSR war propaganda is banned. 

     Article 29.  The USSR's relations with other states are based on 
observance of the following principles: sovereign equality; mutual 
renunciation of the use or threat of force; inviolability of frontiers; 
territorial integrity of states; peaceful settlement of disputes; non-
intervention in internal affairs; respect for human rights and fundamental 
freedoms; the equal rights of peoples and their right to decide their own 
destiny; co-operation among states; and fulfilment in good faith of 
obligations arising from the generally recognised principles and rules of 
international law, and from the international treaties signed by the USSR. 

     Article 30.  The USSR, as part of the world system of socialism and of 
the socialist community, promotes and strengthens friendship, co-operation, 
and comradely mutual assistance with other socialist countries on the basis of 
the principle of socialist internationalism, and takes an active part in 
socialist economic integration and the socialist international division of 
labour. 

Chapter 5: DEFENCE OF THE SOCIALIST MOTHERLAND

     Article 31.  Defence of the Socialist Motherland is one of the most 
important functions of the state, and is the concern of the whole people. 
     In order to defend the gains of socialism, the peaceful labour of the 
Soviet people, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state, the 
USSR maintains armed forces and has instituted universal military service. 
     The duty of the Armed Forces of the USSR to the people is to provide 
reliable defence of the socialist Motherland and to be in constant combat 
readiness, guaranteeing that any aggressor is instantly repulsed. 

     Article 32.  The state ensures the security and defence capability of the 
country, and supplies the Armed Forces of the USSR with everything necessary 
for that purpose. 
     The duties of state bodies, public organisations, officials, and citizens 
in regard to safeguarding the country's security and strengthening its defence 
capacity are defined by the legislation of the USSR. 


II. THE STATE AND THE INDIVIDUAL

Chapter 6: CITIZENSHIP OF THE USSR / EQUALITY OF CITIZENS' RIGHTS

     Article 33.  Uniform federal citizenship is established for the USSR.  
Every citizen of a Union Republic is a citizen of the USSR. 
     The grounds and procedure for acquiring or forfeiting Soviet citizenship 
are defined by the Law on Citizenship of the USSR. 
     When abroad, citizens of the USSR enjoy the protection and assistance of 
the Soviet state. 

     Article 34.  Citizens of the USSR are equal before the law, without 
distinction of origin, social or property status, race or nationality, sex, 
education, language, attitude to religion, type and nature of occupation, 
domicile, or other status. 
     The equal rights of citizens of the USSR are guaranteed in all fields of 
economic, political, social, and cultural life. 

     Article 35.  Women and men have equal rights in the USSR. 
     Exercise of these rights is ensured by according women equal access with 
men to education and vocational and professional training, equal opportunities 
in employment, remuneration, and promotion, and in social and political, and 
cultural activity, and by special labour and health protection measures for 
women; by providing conditions enabling mothers to work; by legal protection, 
and material and moral support for mothers and children, including paid leaves 
and other benefits for expectant mothers and mothers, and gradual reduction of 
working time for mothers with small children. 

     Article 36.  Citizens of the USSR of different races and nationalities 
have equal rights. 
     Exercise of these rights is ensured by a policy of all-round development 
and drawing together of all the nations and nationalities of the USSR, by 
educating citizens in the spirit of Soviet patriotism and socialist 
internationalism, and by the possibility to use their native language and the 
languages of other peoples in the USSR. 
     Any direct or indirect limitation of the rights of citizens or 
establishment of direct or indirect privileges on grounds of race or 
nationality, and any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness, hostility, 
or contempt, are punishable by law. 

     Article 37.  Citizens of other countries and stateless persons in the 
USSR are guaranteed the rights and freedoms provided by law, including the 
right to apply to a court and other state bodies for the protection of their 
personal, property, family, and other rights. 
     Citizens of other countries and stateless persons, when in the USSR, are 
obliged to respect the Constitution of the USSR and observe Soviet laws. 

     Article 38.  The USSR grants the right of asylum to foreigners persecuted 
for defending the interests of the working people and the cause of peace, or 
for participation in the revolutionary and national-liberation movement, or 
for progressive social and political, scientific, or other creative activity. 

Chapter 7: THE BASIC RIGHTS, FREEDOMS, AND DUTIES OF CITIZENS OF THE USSR

     Article 39.  Citizens of the USSR enjoy in full the social, economic, 
political and personal rights and freedoms proclaimed and guaranteed by the 
Constitution of the USSR and by Soviet laws.  The socialist system ensures 
enlargement of the rights and freedoms of citizens and continuous improvement 
of their living standards as social, economic, and cultural development 
programmes are fulfilled. 
     Enjoyment by citizens of their rights and freedoms must not be to the 
detriment of the interests of society or the state, or infringe the rights of 
other citizens. 

     Article 40.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to work (that is, to 
guaranteed employment and pay in accordance wit the quantity and quality of 
their work, and not below the state-established minimum), including the right 
to choose their trade or profession, type of job and work in accordance with 
their inclinations, abilities, training and education, with due account of the 
needs of society. 
     This right is ensured by the socialist economic system, steady growth of 
the productive forces, free vocational and professional training, improvement 
of skills, training in new trades or professions, and development of the 
systems of vocational guidance and job placement. 

     Article 41.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to rest and leisure. 
     This right is ensured by the establishment of a working week not 
exceeding 41 hours, for workers and other employees, a shorter working day in 
a number of trades and industries, and shorter hours for night work; by the 
provision of paid annual holidays, weekly days of rest, extension of the 
network of cultural, educational, and health-building institutions, and the 
development on a mass scale of sport, physical culture, and camping and 
tourism; by the provision of neighborhood recreational facilities, and of 
other opportunities for rational use of free time. 
     The length of collective farmers' working and leisure time is established 
by their collective farms. 

     Article 42.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to health protection. 
     This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by state 
health institutions; by extension of the network of therapeutic and health-
building institutions; by the development and improvement of safety and 
hygiene in industry; by carrying out broad prophylactic measures; by measures 
to improve the environment; by special care for the health of the rising 
generation, including prohibition of child labour, excluding the work done by 
children as part of the school curriculum; and by developing research to 
prevent and reduce the incidence of disease and ensure citizens a long and 
active life. 

     Article 43.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to maintenance in old 
age, in sickness, and in the event of complete or partial disability or loss 
of the breadwinner. 
     The right is guaranteed by social insurance of workers and other 
employees and collective farmers; by allowances for temporary disability; by 
the provision  by the state or by collective farms of retirement pensions, 
disability pensions, and pensions for loss of the breadwinner; by providing 
employment for the partially disabled; by care for the elderly and the 
disabled; and by other forms of social security. 

     Article 44.  Citizens of the USSR have the rights to housing. 
     This right is ensured by the development and upkeep of state and 
socially-owned housing; by assistance for co-operative and individual house 
building; by fair distribution, under public control, of the housing that 
becomes available through fulfilment of the programme of building well-
appointed dwellings, and by low rents and low charges for utility services.  
Citizens of the USSR shall take good care of the housing allocated to them. 

     Article 45.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to education. 
     This right is ensured by free provision of all forms of education, by the 
institution of universal, compulsory secondary education, and broad 
development of vocational, specialised secondary, and higher education, in 
which instruction is oriented toward practical activity and production; by the 
development of extramural, correspondence and evening courses, by the 
provision of state scholarships and grants and privileges for students; by the 
free issue of school textbooks; by the opportunity to attend a school where 
teaching is in the native language; and by the provision of facilities for 
self-education. 

     Article 46.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to enjoy cultural 
benefits. 
     This rights is ensured by broad access to the cultural treasures of their 
own land and of the world that are preserved in state and other public 
collections; by the development and fair distribution of cultural and 
educational institutions throughout the country; by developing television and 
radio broadcasting and the publishing of books, newspapers and periodicals, 
and by extending the free library service; and by expanding cultural exchanges 
with other countries. 

     Article 47.  Citizens of the USSR, in accordance with the aims of 
building communism, are guaranteed freedom of scientific, technical, and 
artistic work.  This freedom is ensured by broadening scientific  research, 
encouraging invention and innovation, and developing literature and the arts.  
THe state provides the necessary material conditions for this and support for 
voluntary societies and unions of workers in the arts, organises introduction 
of inventions and innovations in production and other spheres of activity. 
     The rights of authors, inventors and innovators are protected by the 
state. 

     Article 48.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to take part in the 
management and administration of state and public affairs and in the 
discussion and adoption of laws and measures of All-Union and local 
significance. 
     This right is ensured by the opportunity to vote and to be elected to 
Soviets of People's Deputies and other elective state bodies, to take part in 
nationwide discussions and referendums, in people's control, in the work of 
state bodies, public organisations, and local community groups, and in 
meetings at places of work or residence. 

     Article 49.  Every citizen of the USSR has the right to submit proposals 
to state bodies and public organisations for improving their activity, and to 
criticise shortcomings in their work. 
     Officials are obliged, within established time-limits, to examine 
citizens' proposals and requests, to reply to them, and to take appropriate 
action. 
     Persecution for criticism is prohibited.  Persons guilty of such 
persecution shall be called to account. 

     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, and of assembly, meetings, street 
processions and demonstrations. 
     Exercise of these political freedoms is ensured by putting public 
buildings, streets and squares at the disposal of the working people and their 
organisations, by broad dissemination of information, and by the opportunity 
to use the press, television, and radio. 

     Article 51.  In accordance with the aims of building communism, citizens 
of the USSR have the right to associate in public organisations that promote 
their political activity and initiative and satisfaction of their various 
interests. 
     Public organisations are guaranteed conditions for successfully 
performing the functions defined in their rules. 

     Article 52.  Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed freedom of conscience, 
that is, the right to profess or not to profess any religion, and to conduct 
religious worship or atheistic propaganda.  Incitement of hostility or hatred 
on religious grounds is prohibited. 
     In the USSR, the church is separated from the state, and the school from 
the church. 

     Article 53.  The family enjoys the protection of the state. 
     Marriage is based on the free consent of the woman and the man; the 
spouses are completely equal in their family relations. 
     The state helps the family by providing and developing a broad system of 
childcare institutions, by organising and improving communal services and 
public catering, by paying grants on the birth of a child, by providing 
children's allowances and benefits for large families, and other forms of 
family allowances and assistance. 

     Article 54.  Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the 
person.  No one may be arrested except by a court decision or on the warrant 
of a procurator. 

     Article 55.  Citizens of the USSR are guaranteed inviolability of the 
home.  No one may, without lawful grounds, enter a home against the will of 
those residing in it. 

     Article 56.  The privacy of citizens, and of their correspondence, 
telephone conversations, and telegraphic communications is protected by law. 

     Article 57.  Respect for the individual and protection of the rights and 
freedoms of citizens are the duty of all state bodies, public organisations, 
and officials. 
     Citizens of the USSR have the right to protection by the courts against 
encroachments on their honour and reputation, life and health, and personal 
freedom and property. 

     Article 58.  Citizens of the USSR have the right to lodge a complaint 
against the actions of officials, state bodies and public bodies.  Complaints 
shall be examined according to the procedure and within the time-limit 
established by law. 
     Actions by officials that contravene the law or exceed their powers, and 
infringe the rights of citizens, may be appealed against in a court in the 
manner prescribed by law. 
     Citizens of the USSR have the right to compensation for damage resulting 
from unlawful actions by state organisations and public organisations, or by 
officials in the performance of their duties. 

     Article 59.  Citizens' exercise of their rights and freedoms is 
inseparable from the performance of their duties and obligations. 
     Citizens of the USSR are obliged to observe the Constitution of the USSR 
and Soviet laws, comply with the standards of socialist conduct, and uphold 
the honour and dignity of Soviet citizenship. 

     Article 60.  It is the duty of, and matter of honour for, every able-
bodied citizen of the USSR to work conscientiously in his chosen, socially 
useful occupation, and strictly to observe labour discipline.  Evasion of 
socially useful work is incompatible with the principles of socialist society. 

     Article 61.  Citizens of the USSR are obliged to preserve and protect 
socialist property.  It is the duty of a citizen of the USSR to combat 
misappropriation and squandering of state and socially-owned property and to 
make thrifty use of the people's wealth. 
     Persons encroaching in any way on socialist property shall be punished 
according to the law. 

     Article 62.  Citizens of the USSR are obliged to safeguard the interests 
of the Soviet state, and to enhance its power and prestige. 
     Defence of the Socialist Motherland is the sacred duty of every citizen 
of the USSR. 
     Betrayal of the Motherland is the gravest of crimes against the people. 

     Article 63.  Military service in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the 
USSR is an honorable 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 friendship of the 
nations and nationalities of the multinational Soviet state. 

     Article 65.  A citizen of the USSR is obliged to respect the rights and 
lawful interests of other persons, to be uncompromising toward anti-social 
behaviour, and to help maintain public order. 

     Article 66.  Citizens of the USSR are obliged to concern themselves with 
the upbringing of children, to train them for socially useful work, and to 
raise them as worthy members of socialist society.  Children are obliged to 
care for their parents and help them. 

     Article 67.  Citizens of the USSR are obliged to protect nature and 
conserve its riches. 

     Article 68.  Concern for the preservation of historical monuments and 
other cultural values is a duty and obligation of citizens of the USSR. 

     Article 69.  It is the internationalist duty of citizens of the USSR to 
promote friendship and co-operation with peoples of other lands and help 
maintain and strengthen world peace. 

III.  THE NATIONAL-STATE STRUCTURE OF THE USSR

Chapter 8: THE USSR--A FEDERAL STATE

     Article 70.  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is an integral, 
federal, multinational state formed on the principle of socialist federalism 
as a 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 draws all its 
nations and nationalities together for the purpose of jointly building 
communism. 

     Article 71.  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics unites: 
     the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic 
     the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Azerbeijan Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Moldovian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic, 
     the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. 

     Article 72.  Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede 
from the USSR. 

     Article 73.  The jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 
as represented by its highest bodies of state authority and administration, 
shall cover: 
     1. the admission of new republics to the USSR; endorsement of the 
formation of new autonomous republics and autonomous regions within Union 
Republics; 
     2. determination of the state boundaries of the USSR and approval of 
changes in the boundaries between Union Republics; 
     3. establishment of the general principles for the organisation and 
functioning of republican and local bodies of state authority and 
administration; 
     4. the ensurance of uniformity of legislative norms throughout the USSR 
and establishment of the fundamentals of the legislation of the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics and Union Republics; 
     5. pursuance of a uniform social and economic policy; direction of the 
country's economy; determination of the main lines of scientific and 
technological progress and the general measures for rational exploitation and 
conservation of natural resources; the drafting and approval of state plans 
for the economic and social development of the USSR, and endorsement of 
reports on their fulfilment; 
     6. the drafting and approval of the consolidated Budget of the USSR, and 
endorsement of the report on its execution; management of a single monetary 
and credit system; determination of the taxes and revenues forming the Budget 
of the USSR; and the formulation of prices and wages policy; 
     7. direction of the sectors of the economy, and of enterprises and 
amalgamations under Union jurisdiction, and general direction of industries 
under Union-Republican jurisdiction; 
     8. issues of war and peace, defence of the sovereignty of the USSR and 
safeguarding of its frontiers and territory, and organisation of defence; 
direction of the Armed Forces of the USSR; 
     9. state security; 
     10. representation of the USSR in international relations; the USSR's 
relations with other states and with international organisations; 
establishment of the general procedure for, and co-ordination of, the 
relations of Union Republics with other states and with international 
organisations; foreign trade and other forms of external economic activity on 
the basis of state monopoly; 
     11. control over observance of the Constitution of the USSR, and 
ensurance of conformity of the Constitutions of Union Republics to the 
Constitution of the USSR; 
     12. and settlement of other matters of All-Union importance. 

     Article 74.  The laws of the USSR shall have the same force in all Union 
Republics.  In the event of a discrepancy between a Union Republic law and an 
All-Union law, the law of the USSR shall prevail. 

     Article 75.  The territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is 
a single entity and comprises the territories of the Union Republics. 
     The sovereignty of the USSR extends throughout its territory. 

Chapter 9: THE UNION SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

     Article 76.  A Union Republic is a sovereign Soviet socialist state that 
has united with other Soviet Republics in the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics. 
     Outside the spheres listed in Article 73 of the Constitution of the USSR, 
a Union Republic exercises independent authority on its territory. 
     A Union Republic shall have its own Constitution conforming to the 
Constitution of the USSR with the specific features of the Republic being 
taken into account. 

     Article 77.  Union Republics take part in decision-making in the Supreme 
Soviet of the USSR, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the 
Government of the USSR, and other bodies of the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics. 
     A Union Republic shall ensure comprehensive economic and social 
development on its territory, facilitate exercise of the powers of the USSR on 
its territory, and implement the decisions of the highest bodies of state 
authority and administration of the USSR. 
     In matters that come within its jurisdiction, a Union Republic shall co-
ordinate and control the activity of enterprises, institutions, and 
organisations subordinate to the Union. 

     Article 78.  The territory of a Union Republic may not be altered without 
its consent.  The boundaries between Union Republics may be altered by mutual 
agreement of the Republics concerned, subject to ratification by the Union of 
Soviet Socialist Republics. 

     Article 79.  A Union Republic shall determine its division into 
territories, regions, areas, and districts, and decide other matters relating 
to its administrative and territorial structure. 

     Article 80.  A Union Republic has the right to enter into relations with 
other states, conclude treaties with them, exchange diplomatic and consular 
representatives, and take part in the work of international organisations. 

     Article 81.  The sovereign rights of Union Republics shall be safeguarded 
by the USSR. 

Chapter 10: THE AUTONOMOUS SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC

     Article 82.  An Autonomous Republic is a constituent part of a Union 
Republic. 
     In spheres not within the jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics and the Union Republic, an Autonomous Republic shall deal 
independently with matters within its jurisdiction. 
     An autonomous Republic shall have its own Constitution conforming to the 
Constitutions of the USSR and the Union Republic with the specific features of 
the Autonomous Republic being taken into account. 

     Article 83.  An Autonomous Republic takes part in decision-making through 
the highest bodies of state authority and administration of the USSR and of 
the Union Republic respectively, in matters that come within the jurisdiction 
of the USSR and the Union Republic. 
     An Autonomous Republic shall ensure comprehensive economic and social 
development on its territory, facilitate exercise of the powers of the USSR 
and the Union Republic on its territory, and implement decisions of the 
highest bodies of state authority and administration of the USSR and the Union 
Republic. 
     In matters within its jurisdiction, an Autonomous Republic shall co-
ordinate and control the activity of enterprises, institutions, and 
organisations subordinate to the Union or the Union Republic. 

     Article 84.  The territory of an Autonomous Republic may not be altered 
without its consent. 

     Article 85.  The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic includes 
the Bashkir, Buryat, Daghestan, Kabardin-Balkar, Kalmyk, Karelian, Komi, Mari, 
Mordovian, North Ossetian, Tatar, Tuva, Udmurt, Chechen-Ingush, Chuvash, and 
Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. 
     The Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic includes the Kara-Kalpak Autonomous 
Soviet Socialist Republic. 
     The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic includes the Abkhasian and Adzhar 
Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics. 
     The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic include the Nakhichevan 
Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. 

Chapter 11: THE AUTONOMOUS REGION AND AUTONOMOUS AREA

     Article 86.  An Autonomous REgion is a constituent part of a Union 
Republic or Territory.  The Law on an Autonomous Region, upon submission by 
the Soviet of People's Deputies of the Autonomous Region concerned, shall be 
adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Union Republic. 

     Article 87.  The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic includes 
the Adygei, Gorno-Altai, Jewish, Karachai-Circassian, and Khakass Autonomous 
Regions. 
     The Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic includes the South Ossetian 
Autonomous Region. 
     The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic include the Nagorno-Karabakh 
Autonomous Region. 
     The Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic includes the Gorno-Badakhshan 
Autonomous Region. 

     Article 88.  An autonomous Area is a constituent part of a Territory or 
Region.  The Law on an Autonomous Area shall be adopted by the Supreme Soviet 
of the Union Republic concerned. 

IV.  SOVIETS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES AND ELECTORAL PROCEDURE

Chapter 12: THE SYSTEM OF SOVIETS OF PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES AND THE PRINCIPLES OF 
THEIR WORK

     Article 89.  The Soviets of People's Deputies, i.e. the Supreme Soviet of 
the USSR, the Supreme Soviets of Union Republics, the Supreme Soviets of 
Autonomous Republics, the Soviets of People's Deputies of Territories and 
Regions, the Soviets of People's Deputies of Autonomous Regions and Autonomous 
Areas, and the Soviets of People's Deputies of districts, cities, city 
districts, settlements and villages shall constitute a single system of bodies 
of state authority. 

     Article 90.  The term of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Supreme 
Soviets of Union Republics, and the Supreme Soviets of Autonomous Republics 
shall be five years. 
     The term of local Soviets of People's Deputies shall be two and a half 
years. 
     Elections to Soviets of People's Deputies shall be called not later than 
two months before the expiry of the term of the Soviet concerned. 

     Article 91.  The most important matters within the jurisdiction of the 
respective Soviets of People's Deputies shall be considered and settled at 
their sessions. 
     Soviets of People's Deputies shall elect standing commissions and form 
executive-administrative, and other bodies accountable to them. 

     Article 92.  Soviets of People's Deputies shall form people's control 
bodies combining state control with control by the working people at 
enterprises, collective farms, institutions, and organisations. 
     People's control bodies shall check on the fulfilment of state plans and 
assignments, combat breaches of state discipline, localist tendencies, narrow 
departmental attitudes, mismanagement, extravagance and waste, red tape and 
bureaucracy, and help improve the working of the state machinery. 

     Article 93.  Soviets of People's Deputies shall direct all sectors of 
state economic, and social and cultural development, either directly or 
through bodies instituted by them, take decisions and ensure their execution, 
and verify their implementation. 

     Article 94.  Soviets of People's Deputies shall function publicly on the 
basis of collective, free, constructive discussion and decision-making, of 
systematic reporting back to them and the people by their executive-
administrative and other bodies, and of involving citizens on a broad scale in 
their work. 

Chapter 13: THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM

     Article 95.  Deputies to all Soviets shall be elected on the basis of 
universal, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot. 

     Article 96.  Elections shall be universal: all citizens of the USSR who 
have reached the age of 18 shall have the right to vote and to be elected, 
with the exception of persons who have been certified insane. 
     To be eligible for election to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR a citizen 
of the USSR must have reached the age of 21. 

     Article 97.  Elections shall be equal: each citizen shall have one vote; 
all voters shall exercise the franchise on an equal footing. 

     Article 98.  Elections shall be direct: deputies to all Soviets of 
People's Deputies shall be elected by direct vote. 

     Article 99.  Voting at elections shall be secret: control over voters' 
exercise of the franchise is inadmissible. 

     Article 100.  The following shall have the right to nominate candidates: 
branches and organisations of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, trade 
unions, and the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League; co-operatives and 
other public organisations; work collectives, and meetings of servicemen in 
their military units. 
     Citizens of the USSR and public organisations are guaranteed the right to 
free and all-round discussion of the political and personal qualities and 
competence of candidates, and the right to campaign for them at meetings, in 
the press, and on television and radio. 
     The expenses involved in holding elections to Soviets of People's 
Deputies shall be met by the state. 

     Article 101.  Deputies to Soviets of People's Deputies shall be elected 
by constituencies. 
     A citizen of the USSR may not, as a rule, be elected to more than two 
Soviets of People's Deputies. 
     Elections to the Soviets shall be conducted by electoral commissions 
consisting of representatives, and of meetings of servicemen in military 
units. 
     The procedure for holding elections to Soviets of People's Deputies shall 
be defined by the laws of the USSR, and of Union and Autonomous Republics. 

     Article 102.  Electors give mandates to their Deputies. 
     The appropriate Soviets of People's Deputies shall examine electors' 
mandates, take them into account in drafting economic and social development 
plans and in drawing up the budget, organise implementation of the mandates, 
and inform citizens about it. 

Chapter 14: PEOPLE'S DEPUTIES

     Article 103.  Deputies are the plenipotentiary representatives of the 
people in the Soviets of People's Deputies. 
     In the Soviets, Deputies deal with matters relating to state, economic, 
and social and cultural development, organise implementation of the decisions 
of the Soviets, and exercise control over the work of state bodies, 
enterprises, institutions and organisations. 
     Deputies shall be guided in their activities by the interests of the 
state, and shall take the needs of their constituents into account and work to 
implement their electors' mandates. 

     Article 104.  Deputies shall exercise their powers without discontinuing 
their regular employment or duties. 
     During sessions of the Soviet, and so as to exercise their deputy's 
powers in other cases stipulated by law, Deputies shall be released from their 
regular employment or duties, with retention of their average earnings at 
their permanent place of work. 

     Article 105.  A Deputy has the right to address inquiries to the 
appropriate state bodies and officials, who are obliged to reply to them at a 
session of the Soviet. 
     Deputies have the right to approach any state or public body, enterprise, 
institution, or organisation on matters arising from their work as Deputies 
and to take part in considering the questions raised by them.  The heads of 
the state or public bodies, enterprises, institutions or organisations 
concerned are obliged to receive Deputies without delay and to consider their 
proposals within the time-limit established by law. 

     Article 106.  Deputies shall be ensured conditions for the unhampered and 
effective exercise of their rights and duties. 
     The immunity of Deputies, and other guarantees of their activity as 
Deputies, are defined in the Law on the Status of Deputies and other 
legislative acts of the USSR and of Union and Autonomous Republics. 

     Article 107.  Deputies shall report on their work and on that of the 
Soviet to their constituents, and to the work collectives and public 
organisations that nominated them. 
     Deputies who have not justified the confidence of their constituents may 
be recalled at any time by decision of a majority of the electors in 
accordance with the procedure established by law. 

V. HIGHER BODIES OF STATE AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE USSR

Chapter 15: THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE USSR

     Article 108.  The highest boy of state authority of the USSR shall be the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 
     The Supreme Soviet of the USSR is empowered to deal with all matters 
within the jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as defined 
by this Constitution. 
     The adoption and amendment of the Constitution of the USSR; admission of 
new Republics to the USSR; endorsement of the formation of new Autonomous 
Republics and Autonomous Regions; approval of the state plans for economic an 
social development, of the Budget of the USSR, and of reports on their 
execution; and the institution of bodies of the USSR accountable to it, are 
the exclusive prerogative of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 
     Laws of the USSR shall be enacted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or by 
a nationwide vote (referendum) held by decision of the Supreme Soviet of the 
USSR. 

     Article 109.  The Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall consist of two 
chambers: the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities. 
     The two chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall have equal 
rights. 

     Article 110.  The Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities 
shall have equal numbers of deputies. 
     The Soviet of the Union shall be elected by constituencies with equal 
populations. 
     The Soviet of Nationalities shall be elected on the basis of the 
following representation: 32 deputies from each Union Republic, 11 deputies 
from each Autonomous Republic, five deputies from each Autonomous Region, and 
one deputy from each Autonomous Area. 
     The Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities, upon submission 
by the credentials commissions elected by them, shall decide on the validity 
of Deputies' credentials, and, in cases in which the election law has been 
violated, shall declare the election of the Deputies concerned null and void. 

     Article 111.  Each chamber of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall elect 
a Chairman and four Vice-Chairmen. 
     The Chairmen of the Soviet of the Union and of the Soviet of 
Nationalities shall preside over the sittings of the respective chambers and 
conduct their affairs. 
     Joint sittings of the chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall be 
presided over alternately by the Chairman of the Soviet of the Union and the 
Chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities. 

     Article 112.  Sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall be 
convened twice a year. 
     Special sessions shall be convened by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 
of the USSR at its discretion or on the proposal of a Union Republic, or of 
not less than one-third of the Deputies of one of the chambers. 
     A session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall consist of separate and 
joint sittings of the chambers, and of meetings of the standing commissions of 
the chambers or commissions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR held between the 
sittings of the chambers.  A session may be opened and closed at either 
separate or joint sittings of the chambers. 

     Article 113.  The right to initiate legislation in the Supreme Soviet of 
the USSR is vested in the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities, 
the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Council of Ministers of 
the USSR, Union Republics through their highest bodies of state authority, 
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. 
     The right to initiate legislation is also vested in public organisations 
through their All-Union bodies. 

     Article 114.  Bills and other matters submitted to the Supreme Soviet of 
the USSR shall be debated by its chambers at separate or joint sittings.  
Where necessary, a bill or other matter may be referred to one or more 
commissions for preliminary or additional consideration. 
     A law of the USSR shall be deemed adopted when it has been passed in each 
chamber of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR by a majority of the total number of 
its Deputies.  Decisions 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. 
     Bills and other very important matters of state may be submitted for 
nationwide duscussion [sic] by a decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or 
its Presidium taken on their own initiative or on the proposal of a Union 
Republic. 

     Article 115.  In the event of a disagreement between the Soviet of the 
Union and the Soviet of Nationalities, the matter at issue shall be referred 
for settlement to a conciliation commission formed by the chambers on a parity 
basis, after which it shall e considered for a second time by the Soviet of 
the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities at a joint sitting.  If agreement is 
again not reached, the matter shall be postponed for debate at the next 
session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or submitted by the Supreme Soviet 
to a nationwide vote (referendum) 

     Article 116.  Laws of the USSR and decisions and other acts of the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall be published in the languages of the Union 
Republics over the signatures of the Chairman and Secretary of the Presidium 
of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 

     Article 117.  Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR has the right to 
address inquiries to the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and to Ministers 
and the heads of other bodies formed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.  THe 
Council of Ministers of the USSR, or the official to whom the inquiry is 
addressed, is obliged to give a verbal or written reply within three days at 
the given session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 

     Article 118.  A Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR may not be 
prosecuted, or arrested, or incur a court-imposed penalty, without the 
sanction of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or, between its sessions, of the 
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 

     Article 119.  The Supreme Soviet of the USSR, at a joint sitting of its 
chambers, shall elect a Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which 
shall be a standing body of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, accountable to it 
for all its work and exercising the functions of the highest body of state 
authority of the USSR between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, within the 
limits prescribed by the Constitution. 

     Article 120.  The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall be 
elected from among the Deputies and shall consist of a Chairman, First Vice-
Chairman, 15 Vice-Chairmen (one from each Union Republic), a Secretary, and 21 
members. 

     Article 121.  The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall: 
     1. name the date of elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; 
     2. convene sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; 
     3. co-ordinate the work of the standing commissions of the chambers of 
the Supreme Soviet of the USSR; 
     4. ensure observance of the Constitution of the USSR and conformity of 
the Constitutions and laws of Union Republics to the Constitution and laws of 
the USSR; 
     5. interpret the laws of the USSR; 
     6. ratify and denounce international treaties of the USSR; 
     7. revoke decisions and ordinances of the Council of Ministers of the 
USSR and of the Councils of Ministers of Union Republics should they fail to 
conform to the law; 
     8. institute military and diplomatic ranks and other special titles; and 
confer the highest military and diplomatic ranks and other special titles; 
     9. institute orders and medals of the USSR, and honorific titles of the 
USSR; award orders and medals of the USSR; and confer honorific titles of the 
USSR. 
     10. grant citizenship of the USSR, and rule on matters of the 
renunciation or deprivation of citizenship of the USSR and of granting asylum; 
     11. issue All-Union acts of amnesty and exercise the right of pardon; 
     12. appoint and recall diplomatic representatives of the USSR to other 
countries and to international organisations; 
     13. receive the letters of credence and recall of the diplomatic 
representatives of foreign states accredited to it; 
     14. form the Council of Defence of the USSR and confirm its composition; 
appoint and dismiss the high command of the Armed Forces of the USSR; 
     15. proclaim martial law in particular localities or throughout the 
country in the interests of defence of the USSR; 
     16. order general or partial mobilisation; 
     17. between sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, proclaim a state 
of war in the event of an armed attack on the USSR, or when it is necessary to 
meet international treaty obligations relating to mutual defence against 
aggression; 
     18. and exercise other powers vested in it by the Constitution and laws 
of the USSR. 

     Article 122.  The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, between 
sessions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and subject to submission for its 
confirmation at the next session, shall: 
     1. amend existing legislative acts of the USSR when necessary; 
     2. approve changes in the boundaries between Union Republics; 
     3. form and abolish Ministries and State Committees of the USSR on the 
recommendation of the Council of Ministers of the USSR; 
     4. relieve individual members of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of 
their responsibilities and appoint persons to the Council of Ministers 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 promulgates 
decrees and adopts decisions. 

     Article 124.  On expiry of the term of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, 
the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall retain its powers until 
the newly elected Supreme Soviet of the USSR has elected a new Presidium. 
     The newly elected Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall be convened by the 
outgoing Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR within two months of the 
elections. 

     Article 125.  The Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities 
shall elect standing commissions from among the Deputies to make a preliminary 
review of matters coming within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Soviet of the 
USSR, to promote execution of the laws of the USSR and other acts of the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR and its Presidium, and to check on the work of 
state bodies and organisations.  The chambers of the Supreme Soviet of the 
USSR may also set up joint commissions on a parity basis. 
     When it deems necessary, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR sets up 
commissions of inquiry and audit, and commissions on any other matter. 
     All state and public bodies, organisations and officials are obliged to 
meet the requests of the commissions of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and of 
its chambers, and submit the requisite materials and documents to them. 
     The commissions' recommendations shall be subject to consideration by 
state and public bodies, institutions and organisations.  The commissions 
shall be informed, within the prescribed time-limit, of the results of such 
consideration or of the action taken. 

     Article 126.  The Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall supervise the work of 
all state bodies accountable to it. 
     The Supreme Soviet of the USSR shall form a Committee of People's Control 
of the USSR to head the system of people's control. 
     The organisation and procedure of people's control bodies are defined by 
the Law on People's Control in the USSR. 

     Article 127.  The procedure of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and of its 
bodies shall be defined in the Rules and Regulations of the Supreme Soviet of 
the USSR and other laws of the USSR enacted on the basis of the Constitution 
of the USSR. 

Chapter 16: THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE USSR

     Article 128.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR, i.e. the Government 
of the USSR, is the highest executive and administrative body of state 
authority of the USSR. 

     Article 129.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR shall be formed by the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR at a joint sitting of the Soviet of the Union and 
the Soviet of Nationalities, and shall consist of the Chairman of the Council 
of Ministers of the USSR, First Vice Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, Ministers of 
the USSR, and Chairmen of State Committees of the USSR. 
     The Chairmen of the Councils of Ministers of Union Republics shall be _ex 
officio_ members of the Council of Ministers of the USSR. 
     The Supreme Soviet of the USSR, on the recommendation of the Chairman of 
the Council of Ministers of the USSR, may include in the GOvernment of the 
USSR the heads of other bodies and organisations of the USSR. 
     The Council of Ministers of the USSR shall tender its resignation to a 
newly elected Supreme Soviet of the USSR at its first session. 

     Article 130.  The Council of Minister of the USSR shall be responsible 
and accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and, between sessions of the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR, to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the 
USSR. 
     The Council of Ministers of the USSR shall report regularly on its work 
ot the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 

     Article 131.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR is empowered to deal 
with all matters of state administration within the jurisdiction of the Union 
of Soviet Socialist Republics insofar as, under the Constitution, they on not 
come within the competence of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR or the Presidium 
of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 
     Within its powers the Council of Ministers of the USSR shall: 
     1. ensure direction of economic, social and cultural development; draft 
and implement measures to promote the well-being and cultural development of 
the people, to develop science and engineering, to ensure rational 
exploitation and conservation of natural resources, to consolidate the 
monetary and credit system, to pursue a uniform prices, wages, and social 
security policy, and to organise state insurance and a uniform system of 
accounting and statistics; and organise the management of industrial, 
constructional, and agricultural enterprises and amalgamations, transport and 
communications undertakings, banks, and other organisations and institutions 
of All-Union subordination; 
     2. draft current and long-term state plans for the economic and social 
development of the USSR and the Budget of the USSR, and submit them to the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR; take measures to execute the state plans and 
Budget; and report to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the implementation of 
the plans and Budget; 
     3. implement measures to defend the interests of the state, protect 
socialist property and maintain public order, and guarantee and protect 
citizens' rights and freedoms; 
     4. take measures to ensure state security; 
     5. exercise general direction of the development of the ARmed Forces of 
the USSR, and determine the annual contingent of citizens to be called up for 
active military service; 
     6. provide general direction in regard to relations with other states, 
foreign trade, and economic, scientific, technical, and cultural co-operation 
of the USSR with other countries; take measures to ensure fulfilment of the 
USSR's international treaties; and ratify and denounce intergovernmental 
international agreements; 
     7. and when necessary, form committees, central boards and other 
departments under the Council of Ministers of the USSR to deal with matters of 
economic, social and cultural development, and defence. 

     Article 132.  A Presidium of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, 
consisting of the Chairman, the First Vice-Chairmen, and Vice-Chairmen of the 
Council of Ministers of the USSR, shall function as a standing body of the 
Council of Ministers of the USSR to deal with questions relating to guidance 
of the economy, and with other matters of state administration. 

     Article 133.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR, on the basis of, and 
in pursuance of, the laws of the USSR and other decision of the Supreme Soviet 
of the USSR and its Presidium, shall issue decisions and ordinances and verify 
their execution.  The decisions and ordinances of the Council of Ministers of 
the USSR shall be binding throughout the USSR. 

     Article 134.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR has the right, in 
matters within the jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, to 
suspend execution of decisions and ordinances of the Councils of Minister of 
Union Republics, and to rescind acts of ministries and state committees of the 
USSR, and of the other bodies subordinate to it. 

     Article 135.  The Council of Ministers of the USSR shall co-ordinate and 
direct the work of All-Union and Union-Republican ministries, state committees 
of the USSR, and other bodies subordinate to it. 
     All-Union ministries and state committees of the USSR shall direct the 
work of the branches of administration entrusted to  them, or exercise inter-
branch administration, throughout the territory of the USSR directly or 
through bodies set up by them. 
     Union-Republican ministries and state committees of the USSR direct the 
work of the branches of administration entrusted to them, or exercise inter-
branch administration, as a rule, through the corresponding ministries and 
state committees, and other bodies of Union Republics, and directly administer 
individual enterprises and amalgamations of Union subordination.  The 
procedure for transferring enterprises and amalgamations from Republic or 
local subordination to Union subordination shall be defined by the Presidium 
of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. 
     Ministries and state committees of the USSR shall be responsible for the 
condition and development of the spheres of administration entrusted to them; 
within their competence, they issue orders and other acts on the basis of, and 
in execution of, the laws of the USSR and other decisions of the Supreme 
Soviet of the USSR and its Presidium, and of decisions and ordinances of the 
Council of Ministers of the USSR, and organise and verify their 
implementation. 

     Article 136.  The competence of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and 
its Presidium, the procedure for their work, relationships between the Council 
of Ministers and other state bodies, and the list of All-Union and Union-
Republican ministries and state committees of the USSR are defined, on the 
basis of the Constitution, in the Law on the Council of Minister of the USSR. 

VI. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE BODIES OF STATE AUTHORITY AND 
ADMINISTRATION IN UNION REPUBLICS

Chapter 17:  HIGHER BODIES OF STATE AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION OF A UNION 
REPUBLIC

     Article 137.  The highest body of state authority of a Union Republic 
shall be the Supreme Soviet of that Republic. 
     The Supreme Soviet of a Union Republic is empowered to deal with all 
matters within the jurisdiction of the Republic under the Constitutions of the 
USSR and the Republic. 
     Adoption and amendment of the Constitution of a Union Republic; 
endorsement of state plans for economic and social development, of the 
Republic's Budget, and of reports on their fulfilment; and the formation of 
bodies accountable to the Supreme Soviet of the Union Republic are the 
exclusive prerogative of that Supreme Soviet. 
     Laws of a Union Republic shall be enacted by the Supreme Soviet of the 
Union Republic or by a popular vote (referendum) heldy [sic] by decision of 
the Republic's Supreme Soviet. 

     Article 138.  The Supreme Soviet of a Union Republic shall elect a 
Presidium, which is a standing body of that Supreme Soviet and accountable to 
it for all its work.  The composition and powers of the Presidium of the 
Supreme Soviet of a Union Republic shall be defined in the Constitution of the 
Union Republic. 

     Article 139.  The Supreme Soviet of a Union Republic shall form a Council 
of Ministers of the Union Republic, ie.e. the GOvernment of that Republic, 
which shall be the highest executive and administrative body of state 
authority in the Republic. 
     The Council of Ministers of a Union Republic shall be responsible and 
accountable to the Supreme Soviet of that Republic or, between sessions of the 
Supreme Soviet, to its Presidium. 

     Article 140.  The Council of Ministers of a Union Republic issues 
decisions and ordinances on the basis of, and in pursuance of, the legislative 
acts of the USSR and of the Union Republic, and of decisions and ordinances of 
the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and shall organise and verify their 
execution. 

     Article 141.  The Council of Ministers of a Union Republic has the right 
to suspend the execution of decisions and ordinances of the Councils of 
Ministers of Autonomous Republics, to rescind the decisions and orders of the 
Executive Committees of Soviets of People's Deputies of Territories, Regions, 
and cities (i.e. cities under Republic jurisdiction) and of Autonomous 
Regions, and in Union Republics not divided into regions, of the Executive 
Committees of district and corresponding city Soviets of People's Deputies. 

     Article 142.  The Council of Ministers of a Union Republic shall co-
ordinate and direct the work of the Union-Republican and Republican ministries 
and of state committees of the Union Republic, and other bodies under its 
jurisdiction. 
     The Union-Republican ministries and state committees of a Union Republic 
shall direct the branches of administration entrusted to them, or exercise 
inter-branch control and shall be subordinate to both the Council of Ministers 
of the Union Republic and the corresponding Union-Republican ministry or state 
committee of the USSR. 
     Republican ministries and state committees shall direct the branches of 
administration entrusted to them, or exercise inter-branch control, and shall 
be subordinate to the Council of Ministers of the Union Republic. 

Chapter 18: HIGHER BODIES OF STATE AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION OF AN 
AUTONOMOUS REPUBLIC

     Article 143.  The highest body of state authority of an Autonomous 
Republic shall be the Supreme Soviet of that Republic. 
     Adoption and amendment of the Constitution of an Autonomous Republic; 
endorsement of state plans for economic and social development, and of the 
Republic's Budget; and the formation of bodies accountable to the Supreme 
Soviet of the Autonomous Republic are the exclusive prerogative of that 
Supreme Soviet. 
     Laws of an Autonomous Republic shall be enacted by the Supreme Soviet of 
the Autonomous Republic. 

     Article 144.  The Supreme Soviet of an Autonomous Republic shall elect a 
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Autonomous Republic and shall form a 
Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic, i.e. the Government of that 
Republic. 

Chapter 19: LOCAL BODIES OF STATE AUTHORITY AND ADMINISTRATION

     Article 145.  The bodies of state authority in Territories, Regions, 
Autonomous Areas, districts, cities, city districts, settlements, and rural 
communities shall be the corresponding Soviets of People's Deputies. 

     Article 146.  Local Soviets of People's Deputies shall deal with all 
matters of local significance in accordance with the interest of the whole 
state and of the citizens residing in the area under their jurisdiction, 
implement decisions of higher bodies of state authority, guide the work of 
lower Soviets of People's Deputies, take part in the discussion of matters of 
Republican and All-Union significance, and submit their proposals concerning 
them. 
     Local Soviets of People's Deputies shall direct state, economic, social 
and cultural development within their territory; endorse plans for economic 
and social development an the local budget; exercise general guidance over 
state bodies, enterprises, institutions and organisations subordinate to them; 
ensure observance of the laws, maintenance of law and order; and protection of 
citizens' rights; and help strengthen the country's defence capacity. 

     Article 147.  Within their powers, local Soviets of People's Deputies 
shall ensure the comprehensive, all-round economic and social development of 
their area; exercise control over the observance of legislation by 
enterprises, institutions and organisations subordinate to higher authorities 
and located in their area; and co-ordinate and supervise their activity as 
regards land use, nature conservation, building, employment of manpower, 
production of consumer goods, and social, cultural, communal and other 
services and amenities for the public. 

     Article 148. Local Soviets of People's Deputies shall decide matters 
within the powers accorded them by the legislation of the USSR and of the 
appropriate Union Republic and Autonomous Republic.  THeir decisions shall be 
binding on all enterprises, institutions, and organisations located in their 
area and on officials and citizens. 

     Article 149.  The executive-administrative bodies of local Soviets shall 
be the Executive Committees elected by them from among their deputies. 
     Executive Committees shall report on their work at least once a year to 
the Soviets that elected them and to meetings of citizens at their places of 
work or residence. 

     Article 150.  Executive Committees of local Soviets of People's Deputies 
shall be directly accountable both to the Soviet that elected them and to the 
higher executive and administrative body. 


VII.  JUSTICE, ARBITRATION, AND PROCURATOR'S SUPERVISION

Chapter 20: COURTS AND ARBITRATION

     Article 151.  In the USSR justice is administered only by the courts. 
     In the USSR there are the following courts: the Supreme Court of the 
USSR, the Supreme Courts of Union Republics, the Supreme Courts of Autonomous 
Republics, Territorial, Regional, and city courts, courts of Autonomous 
Regions, courts of Autonomous Areas, district (city) people's courts, and 
military tribunals in the Armed Forces. 

     Article 152.  All courts in the USSR shall be formed on the principle of 
the electiveness of judges and people's assessors. 
     People's judges of district (city) people's courts shall be elected for a 
term of five years by the citizens of the district (city) on the basis of 
universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.  People's assessors of 
district (city) people's courts shall be elected for a term of two and a half 
years at meetings of citizens at their places of work or residence by a show 
of hands. 
     Higher courts shall be elected for a term of five years by the 
corresponding Soviet of People's Deputies. 
     The judges of military tribunals shall be elected for a term of five 
years by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and by people's 
assessors for a term of two and a half years by meetings of servicemen. 
     Judges and people's assessors are responsible and accountable to their 
electors or the bodies that elected them, shall report to them, and may be 
recalled by them in the manner prescribed by law. 

     Article 153.  The Supreme Court of the USSR is the highest judicial body 
in the USSR and supervises the administration of justice by the courts of the 
USSR and Union Republics within the limits established by law. 
     The Supreme Court of the USSR shall be elected by the Supreme Soviet of 
the USSR and shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairmen, members, and people's 
assessors.  The Chairmen of the Supreme Courts of Union Republics are _ex 
officio_ members of the Supreme Court of the USSR. 
     The organisation and procedure of the Supreme Court of the USSR are 
defined in the Law on the Supreme Court of the USSR. 

     Article 154.  The hearing of civil and criminal cases in all courts is 
collegial; in courts of first instance cases are heard with the participation 
of people's assessors.  In the administration of justice people's assessors 
have all the rights of a judge. 

     Article 155.  Judges and people's assessors are independent and subject 
only to the law. 

     Article 156.  Justice is administered in the USSR on the principle of the 
equality of citizens before the law and the court. 

     Article 157.  Proceedings in all courts shall be open to the public.  
Hearings _in camera_ are only allowed in cases provided for by law, with 
observance of all the rule of judicial procedure. 

     Article 158.  A defendant in a criminal action is guaranteed the right to 
legal assistance. 

     Article 159.  Judicial proceedings shall be conducted in the language of 
the Union Republic, Autonomous Republic, Autonomous Region, or Autonomous 
Area, or in the language spoken by the majority of the people in the locality.  
Persons participating in court proceedings, who do not know the language in 
which they are being conducted, shall be ensured the right to become fully 
acquainted with the materials in the case; the services of an interpreter 
during the proceedings; and the right to address the court in their own 
language. 

     Article 160.  No one may be adjudged guilty of a crime and subjected to 
punishment as a criminal except by the sentence of a court and in conformity 
with the law. 

     Article 161.  Colleges of advocates are available to give legal 
assistance to citizens and organisations.  In cases provided for by 
legislation citizens shall be given legal assistance free of charge. 
     The organisation and procedure of the bar are determined by legislation 
of the USSR and Union Republics. 

     Article 162.  Representatives of public organisations and of work 
collectives may take part in civil and criminal proceedings. 

     Article 163.  Economic disputes between enterprises, institutions, and 
organisations are settled by state arbitration bodies within the limits of 
their jurisdiction. 
     The organisations and manner of functioning of state arbitration bodies 
are defined in the Law on State Arbitration in the USSR. 

Chapter 21: THE PROCURATOR'S OFFICE

     Article 164.  Supreme power of supervision over the strict and uniform 
observance of laws by all ministries, state committees and departments, 
enterprises, institutions and organisations, executive-administrative bodies 
of local Soviets of People's Deputies, collective farms, co-operatives and 
other public organisations, officials and citizens is vested in the 
Procurator-General of the USSR and procurators subordinate to him. 

     Article 165.  The Procurator-General of the USSR is appointed by the 
Supreme Soviet of the USSR and is responsible and accountable to it and, 
between sessions of the Supreme Soviet, to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet 
of the USSR. 

     Article 166.  The procurators of Union Republics, Autonomous Republics, 
Territories, Regions and Autonomous Regions are appointed by the Procurator-
General of the USSR.  The procurators of Autonomous Areas and district and 
city procurators are appointed by the Procurators of Union Republics, subject 
to confirmation by the Procurator-General of the USSR. 

     Article 167.  The term of office of the Procurator-General of the USSR 
and all lower-ranking procurators shall be five years. 

     Article 168.  The agencies of the Procurator's Office exercise their 
powers independently of any local bodies whatsoever, and are subordinate 
solely to the Procurator-General of the USSR. 
     The organisation and procedure of the agencies of the Procurator's Office 
are defined in the Law on the Procurator's Office of the USSR. 

VIII. THE EMBLEM, FLAG, ANTHEM, AND CAPITAL OF THE USSR

     Article 169.  The State Emblem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 
is a hammer and sickle on a globe depicted in the rays of the sun and framed 
by ears of wheat, with the inscription "Workers of All Countries, Unite!" in 
the languages of the Union Republics.  At the top of the Emblem is a five-
pointed star. 

     Article 170.  The State Flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 
is a rectangle of red cloth with a hammer and sickle depicted in gold in the 
upper corner next to the staff and with a five-pointed red star edged in gold 
above them.  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 LEGAL FORCE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE USSR AND PROCEDURE FOR 
AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION 

     Article 173.  The Constitution of the USSR shall have supreme legal 
force.  All laws and other acts of state bodies shall be promulgated on the 
basis of and in conformity with it. 

     Article 174.  The Constitution of the USSR may be 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. 
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