The Soviet Union and the Challenge of the Future - Vol. 1

By Alexander Shromas; Morton A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

does this not mean that the Soviet legal system, with all of its defects, also reveals some indisputably positive capacities? In no way! Only certain abstract legal rules and techniques or certain legal regulations which contradict the true substance of Soviet reality should not be precluded from reception, and even those on condition that they were purified of Soviet specificity. In other words, reception should be limited to some tangible results of individual creativity. Everything related to the regular functioning of the Soviet legal system should be definitely excluded from reception.

The negative attitude toward the Soviet system should not be extended to a negative assessment of the people living under the Soviet régime and of their creative deeds performed despite and in defiance of that régime. After all, the Soviet system is bound to collapse, not just because of its substantive unviability but first and foremost because the invincible force of the creative human spirit will eventually make people refuse to be reconciled with the domination and slavery imposed upon that spirit by the Soviet régime. And, thus, it will be the people that ultimately will reject the régime and create in its stead a new socio-political and legal system.


NOTES
1
For elaboration, see O. S. Ioffe, "Law and Economy in the U.S.S.R." in Harvard Law Review 95, No. 7 ( May 1982): 1501-1625.
2
So far, these predictions have, without exception, failed to materialize. Amalrik's is one such striking case in point. See A. Amalrik, Prosushchestvuet li Sovetskyi Soyuz do 1984 goda ( Amsterdam: Herzen Foundation, 1964).
3
H. J. Berman, "The Possibilities and Limits of Soviet Economic Reform", in O. S. Ioffe , M. W. Janis, eds., Soviet Law and Economy ( Dordrecht-Boston-Lancaster: Martin Nijhoff Publishers, 1986), 59-77.
4
Newsweek, 9 May 1983; p. 86.
5
For a detailed discussion, see C. Sherman, Roman Law in the Modern World ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1937).
6
These assertions are not, of course, true. Not only French and German, but even ancient Roman law affected Soviet law during its creation and continue to influence it at present. See, for example, O. S. Ioffe, "Soviet Law and Roman Law", Boston University Law Review 62, no. 3 ( May, 1982): 701-730.
7
Here and hereinafter references are to the 1977 Soviet Constitution, in the author's translation.
8
The 1977 Constitution, Article 72.
9
See V. I. Lenin, Sochineniia (Works) ( Moscow: Gospolitizdat, 1964), 24, 36.
10
E.g. SP SSSR, 1976, No. 21 item 104.
11
They were adopted in 1961 under the title Fundamental Principles of Civil Legislation of the U.S.S.R. and Union Republics, in Vedomosti SSSR, 1961, No. 50, item 325 (with further numerous changes).

-516-

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