People's Court (Soviet Union)

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People's court in the late Soviet Union is a court of first instance which handled the majority of civil and criminal offenses, as well as certain administrative law offenses.

The people's court handled cases by a collegium consisted of a people's judge and two people's assessors. The people's assessors had duties similar to jurors, but decided both any objections and the verdict along with the judge, unlike in most jury systems. Although they were supposed to "assess" the impartiality and rightness of the judge's decisions, the people's assessors were Party members as well, usually agreeing with everything judges did.[citation needed]

In early Soviet Russia and Soviet Union the term "people's court" was used in reference to any court in the new Soviet legal system which replaced the legal system of the Russian Empire. At these times there were several levels of courts, according to the administrative division of the country: local, okrug, and oblast people's courts.[1]

See also


  1. "Decree about the Court No. 2" February 15, 1918 (Russian)