THE whole complex of rules on which consular service rests is composed of national laws of individual states, which regulate the functions of the consular agents, and of international rules determining the legal status of these agents in the countries of their sojourn. As in the case of diplomatic intercourse, here, too, Soviet national laws and treaties are the most important sources for the present study.
Soviet consular laws show the same division as is found in the laws dealing with diplomatic agents. On the one hand, they consist of laws regulating the legal status of foreign consuls in the Soviet Union, and on the other, of laws relative to the work of Soviet consuls abroad. The historical development of the first group of these laws is almost identical with that of the laws relative to the status of foreign diplomatic agents in the Soviet Union. In the foregoing pages were given abstracts from the Circular Instructions of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of 1922 concerning the rights and duties of foreigners, including foreign consular officers.1 On June 30, 1921, along with the Statute on Diplomatic Agents there had been issued the Statute on Foreign Consular Officers in Soviet Russia.2 This Statute provided a repetition of traditional rules on consular service, and deviated very little from the general provisions of international public law on the subject.
Foreign Consuls in the U.S.S.R.
Prior to the promulgation of the Union Statute of January 14, 1927, several other legislative acts were promulgated to supplement the existing regulations. Among these must be mentioned the instructions of 1921-23 concerning the official personnel of foreign consulates in the Soviet Union; the Decree of the Council
Early Soviet Laws