Socialist law or Soviet law denotes a general type of legal system which has been used

in communist and formerly communist states. It is based on the civil law system, with major
modifications and additions from Marxist-Leninist ideology. There is controversy as to whether
socialist law ever constituted a separate legal system or not.[1] If so, prior to the end of the Cold
War, socialist law would be ranked among the major legal systems of the world.
While civil law systems have traditionally put great pains in defining the notion of private property,
how it may be acquired, transferred, or lost, socialist law systems provide for most property to be
owned by the state or by agricultural co-operatives, and having special courts and laws for state
enterprises.[citation needed]
Many scholars argue that socialist law was not a separate legal classification. [2] Although
the command economy approach of the communist states meant that most types of property could
not be owned, the Soviet Union always had a civil code, courts that interpreted this civil code, and a
civil law approach to legal reasoning (thus, both legal process and legal reasoning were largely
analogous to the French or German civil code system). Legal systems in all socialist states
preserved formal criteria of the Romano-Germanic civil law; for this reason, law theorists in postsocialist states usually consider the Socialist law as a particular case of the Romano-Germanic civil
law. Cases of development ofcommon law into Socialist law are unknown because of incompatibility
of basic principles of these two systems (common law presumes influential rule-making role of courts
while courts in socialist states play a dependent role). [citation needed]

Soviet legal theory[edit]
Soviet law displayed many special characteristics that derived from the socialist nature of the Soviet
state and reflected Marxist-Leninist ideology. Vladimir Lenin accepted the Marxist conception of the
law and the state as instruments of coercion in the hands of the bourgeoisie and postulated the
creation of popular, informal tribunals to administer revolutionary justice. One of the main
theoreticians of Soviet socialist legality in this early phase was Pēteris Stučka.[citation needed]
Alongside this utopian trend was one more critical of the concept of "proletarian justice", represented
by Evgeny Pashukanis. A dictatorial trend developed that advocated the use of law and legal
institutions to suppress all opposition to the regime. This trend reached its zenith under Joseph
Stalin with the ascendancy of Andrey Vyshinsky, when the administration of justice was carried out
mainly by the security police in special tribunals.[citation needed]
During the de-Stalinization of the Nikita Khrushchev era, a new trend developed, based on socialist
legality, that stressed the need to protect the procedural and statutory rights of citizens, while still
calling for obedience to the state. New legal codes, introduced in 1960, were part of the effort to
establish legal norms in administering laws. Although socialist legality remained in force after 1960,
the dictatorial and utopian trends continued to influence the legal process. Persecution of political
and religious dissenters continued, but at the same time there was a tendency
to decriminalize lesser offenses by handing them over to people's courts and administrative
agencies and dealing with them by education rather than by incarceration. [citation needed]

 abolition of private property considered as a primary goal of socialism.. maternity leave.. the Mikhail Gorbachev era was stressing anew the importance of individual rights in relation to the state and criticizing those who violated procedural law in implementing Soviet justice. this is a result of their marketoriented economic changes. It should be noted. in all socialist states this policy gradually changed into the policy of "one socialist nation without classes"  diversity of political views directly discouraged.By late 1986. Characteristic traits[edit] Socialist law is similar to common law or civil law but with a greatly increased public law sector and decreased private law sector.[citation needed] Chinese Socialist law[edit] Among the remaining communist governments. free disability benefits and sick leave compensation. verbally.  the judicial process lacks adversary character. In general. subsidies to multichildren families.[3]  partial or total expulsion of the former ruling classes from the public life at early stages of existence of each socialist state. some communist influence can still be seen.  the ruling Communist party was eventually subject to prosecution through party committees in first place. Russian товарищеский суд) which decided on minor offences. some (most notably the People's Republic of China) have added extensive modifications to their legal systems. however. and not a privilege as in the free market economies." A specific institution characteristic to Socialist law was the so-called burlaw court (or. thus near total collectivization and nationalization of the means of production. This signaled a resurgence of socialist legality as the dominant trend. "court of comrades". free education.) in return for a high degree of social mobilization. that socialist legality itself still lacked features associated with Western jurisprudence. retirement at 60 for men and 55 for women. if not its defining characteristic. however. .  low respect for intellectual property as knowledge and culture was considered a right for human kind. the state owns all land but often . However. in Chinese real estate law there is no unified concept ofreal property.  extensive social warrants of the state (the rights to a job. extensive control of the party over private life. free healthcare. For example. public prosecution is considered as "provider of justice.  subordination of the judiciary to the Communist Party  low respect for privacy.

and these use rights are the things being officially traded (rather than the property itself). because the farmer does not have an absolute right to transfer the land. he cannot borrow against his use rights. In some cases (for example in the case of urban residential property). There is little risk that the village committee will attempt to impose a bad contract on the farmers. At the same time. [citation needed] This has a number of consequences. the system results in something that resembles real property transactions in other legal systems. in that the farmer can return his land to the village committee if he wants to stop farming and start some other sort of business. if this business does not work. On the other hand. In actuality. . A rather complex ad hoc system of use rights to land property has developed. it is a common misconception that reforms under Deng Xiaoping resulted in the privatizationof agricultural land and a creation of a land tenure system similar to those found in Western countries.[citation needed] There have been a number of proposals to reform this system and they have tended to be in the direction of fully privatizing rural land for the alleged purpose of increasing efficiency.not the structures that sit on that land. this creates a form of social welfare. These proposals have usually not received any significant support. there is some insurance against risk in the system. The fact that the land is redistributable by the village committee also ensures that no one is left landless. the farmer has some flexibility to decide to leave farming for other ventures and to return at a later time. For example. since this would reduce the amount of money the village committee receives. Hence the rights that are normally unified in Western economies are split up between the individual farmer and the village committee. Then. the Chinese system results in something quite different. One of them is that. he can get a new contract with the village committee and return to farming. [citation needed] In other cases. the village committee owns the land and contracts the right to use this land to individual farmers who may use the land to make money from agriculture. largely because of the popularity of the current system among the farmers themselves.