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Journal Articles Les Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition) Year : 2016

Accessory and Witness - The Profession of the Lawyer under Stalin (1945–1953)


In the USSR, the Bar was set apart by its unique organization, both within the justice system and the Soviet structure more generally. Self-organized into "colleges" (kollegii, here translated as bar associations) and working outside the bureaucracy, lawyers (advokaty)-who were initially known as "defenders" (zashchitniki)-were never civil servants, though they were controlled by the ruling bodies of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) and the Ministry of Justice. Their clients' fees were more or less regulated depending on the period and were paid directly to the presidency of the bar association, which was charged with redistributing them in proportion to the number of cases handled by each lawyer. Admission to the bar associations was subject to election. Lawyers' official activities consisted of the counsel's speech in both criminal and civil courts, the provision of legal advice to the public, businesses, and organizations, and the drafting of appeals. Until 1960, they were excluded from all investigative procedures, including those of the sledovatel' or preliminary investigator, and their influence in court was limited. Their presence was required in criminal courts whenever the prosecutor was in session-that is to say, in half of all cases between 1945 and 1953-but it was rare in military tribunals and the other special courts that nonetheless handled a great many cases. A symbol of class-based justice, the Bar had been vehemently called into doubt by the Bolsheviks from November 1917, with Lenin expressing his distrust This text was translated from the French by Helen Tomlinson and edited by Stephen Sawyer and Chloe Morgan.
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hal-03903003 , version 1 (19-12-2022)



Juliette Cadiot. Accessory and Witness - The Profession of the Lawyer under Stalin (1945–1953). Les Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition), 2016, 71, pp.153 - 182. ⟨10.1017/s2398568217000061⟩. ⟨hal-03903003⟩
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