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Basic Law (Constitution) of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, 27 October 1926

BASIC LAW (CONSTITUTION) OF THE SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA

(The Constitution was adopted and enacted by the Third Session of the Third Convocation of the CEC of the Abkhaz SSR on 27 October 1926;  the text was approved, without changes at the Forth Congress of Soviets of the Abkhaz SSR on 7 march 1927)

Chapter one

General Provisions

(...)

2.  The Republic of Abkhazia is a socialist state of Workers and peasants united on the basis of Union Treaty with the Georgian SSR, enters Trans-Caucasus Soviet Federative Socialist Republic though the Georgian SSR and as a member of latter, the USSR.

3. The Supreme power of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia belongs to the Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Peasants’ and Red Army Deputies of Abkhazia, and, in periods between the convocation of the congress, to the Soviet Central Executive Committee of Abkhazia.

4. The Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia exercises independent state authority on its territory outside of spheres specified for in the Union Treaty with the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgian and listed in the Constitutions of the Trans-Caucasus SFSR and of the Georgian SSR.

5. The territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia may not be altered without its consent.

6. The citizens of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, retaining the citizenship of the Republic, at the same time are the citizens of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia, the Trans-Caucasus SFSR and of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.  All rights and responsibilities established for the citizens of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia by this Constitution and the laws of the  Republic, shall apply to the citizens of other Union Soviet Republics being on the territory of the Soviet Republic of Abkhazia.

Proceeding from the solidarity of workers of all countries and nations, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia secures the rights of foreigners belonging to the working class, residing on its territory for working purposes, as well as of farmers not using the others’ labour.

7. The Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia recognizes the equal rights of citizens irrespective of race or nationality, any direct or indirect limitation of the rights of citizens or establishment of any privileges on grounds of race or nationality, or any discrimination of national minorities or restriction their equality shall be deemed as violation of the laws of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

8. The languages of state institutions on the territory of Abkhaz SSR  are: Abkhaz, Georgian and Russian.

Note 1. All the nationalities of the USSR shall be secured the right to develop and use freely their native language in national-cultural, as well as in state organizations.

Note 2. The language for administrative- territorial entities (Districts, counties, rural settlements) shall be determined by the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

Chapter II

The relations between the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia on the basis of Union Treaty

17. The Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, enters the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia on the basis of Union Treaty and through the Georgian SSR it  enters the Trans-Caucasus Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

18. The representatives of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall take part in the All-Georgian Congress of Soviets on the basis of following norm: one deputy for 10 000 inhabitants from the places where the Soviets are elected on the basis of number of population, and one deputy for 2000 voters from the places where the Soviets are elected on the basis of number of constituency.

19.  All-Georgian Congress of Soviets shall elect the representatives of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia to the Central Executive Committee of All-Georgia; number of representatives shall be determined by the All-Georgian Congress of Soviets.

20. The Congress of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, the Central Executive Committee and its presidium, as well as the organs of local authority of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall be organized in conformity to the Constitution of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

21. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall appoint the Council of People’s Commissars of Abkhazia consisting of the Chairman, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Public Economy and People’s Commissars leading the following commissariats: Internal Affairs, justice, Education, health-care, Agriculture, and Social Protection.  Upon the decision of the Central Executive Committee of Abkhazia, the Council of People’s Commissars also shall include the plenipotentiary representatives (with deliberative or casting vote) of People’s Commissariats of Finance, Labour and Worker’s and Peasants’ Inspectorate of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

The people’s Commissariats of Internal Affairs, justice, Education, health-Care, Agriculture and Social Security shall be independent in their activity from the relevant People’s Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and inform each other about their activity.

The Supreme Council of Public Economy is subordinate to the Central Executive Committee and the Council of people’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and executes the directives of the Supreme Council of public Economy of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

The plenipotentiary representatives of the People’s Commissariats of Finance, labour and Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate are under direct subordination of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and the shall submit the reports on their activity to the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

22. The organs of state authority of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall have the right to issue the legal acts biding on the territory of the Republic on the matters outside of joint state management (Internal Affairs, Justice, Education, health-care, Agriculture and Social Security).

The Codes, Decrees and Decisions adopted by the Central Executive Committee of All-Georgia applied to the entire territory of the Georgian SSR, shall be binding on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia; for the purpose of developing the said acts, the supreme organs of state authority of the Abkhaz SSR may issue the legal acts that are binding on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

23. In the matters of common (Finance, Labour and Workers’ and peasants’ Inspectorate) and joint (Public Economy) management, all decrees and ordinances issued by the Central Executive Committee, its Presidium and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia shall have the binding force on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia; within the sphere of joint state management the supreme organs of state authority of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall have the right to issue the legal acts aimed at developing the legal acts of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia; those acts shall be binding on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

24. All-Georgian Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive committee of All-Georgia shall have the right to revoke the Resolutions of the Congress of Soviets, Central Executive Committee and of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia that contravene to the provisions specified for in Chapter II of this Constitution.

25. The Budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, approved by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is a constituent part of the All-state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia subject to approval of the Central Executive Committee of All-Georgia.

All local revenues and expenditures on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall be consolidated into the local budget on the basis of All-Union and Trans-Caucasus SFSR legislation.

Chapter III.

Jurisdiction of the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

26. The following matters under the sole jurisdiction of the Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia:

a) determination, addition and amendment of the basic principles to the Constitution of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, final approval of partial changes to the Constitution adopted by the Central Executive Committee in the period between the Congress of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia;

b) Deciding the issues on changing the boundaries of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

27. The issues of common character are under the jurisdiction of the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, except those that are under the jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, the Trans-Caucasus SFSR and the Georgian SSR in conformity to the Union and TCSFSR Constitutions and Chapter Two of this Constitution.

The jurisdiction of the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall cover:

a) General management of internal policy and public economy of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia;

b) Administrative division of the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia;

c) Establishment of the bases for the public economy and certain branches on the territory of the Soviet socialist Republic of Abkhazia;

d) Determination of taxes and duties established by the fiscal legislation;

e) The right of amnesty of the territory of Abkhaz SSR, as well as the right of pardon and rehabilitation of citizens convicted by courts and administrative agencies of the Republic;

f) The right to suspend the decisions of the District Congress of Soviets and their executive committees that violate this constitution and the legislation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia currently in force;

g) All the matter the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia deem necessary to be considered.

29. Besides the matters listed above the Congress of Soviets and the central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia are authorized to deal with other issues in conformity to the Constitutions and legislation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Trans-Caucasus SFSR and the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

29. The Decisions adopted by the highest organs of state authority of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic and the Trans-Caucasus Soviet Federative Socialist Republic within the limit of their jurisdiction, as well as the legal acts of supreme organs of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia shall be binding on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia in conformity to Chapter II of this Constitution.  No other organs, except the Congress of Soviets and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, and in certain cases the presidium of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars, have the right to issue the legal acts of all-state significance on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

Chapter IV

Organization of Soviet Power The Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

30. Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is composed of representatives of the District Congresses of Soviets on the basis of following norm: one deputy for 1000 inhabitants from the places where the Soviets are elected on the basis of number of population, and one deputy for 2000 voters from the places where the Soviets are elected on the basis of number of constituency.

31. The Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia elects the Central Executive Committee; the number of members to the Central Executive Committee of Abkhazia shall be determined by the Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

32. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia convens the Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia once a year.

Note: in the vent of special circumstances impeding the convocation of the Congress, the Central Executive Committee has the right to postpone the convocation of the Congress.

33. The Special Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall be convoked by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia upon its own initiative or at a request of the local Soviets and Congresses of Soviets having not less than one-third of the entire population of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

b) The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

34. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is the supreme legislative, executive and controlling organ of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

35. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, within the limits of its competence specified for in Chapter II of this Constitution, has the right to issue Cods, Decrees and Decisions upon its own initiative, consider and approve the draft-laws submitted by the Council of People’s Commissars.

36. All of Decrees and Decisions specifying the common norms of political and economic life of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia, the state budget of Abkhazia and the acts introducing the substantial changes to the established practice of the organs of state authority shall be considered and approved by the Central Executive Committee.

37. The Central Executive Committee shall direct in a general way the activity of the Workers’ and Peasants’ government and of all organs of the soviet authority of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, and it shall coordinate and regulate the operation of the Constitution of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, the Resolutions of the Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, as well as of the decisions of the supreme organs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, the Trans-Caucasus SFSR and of the Georgian SSR specified for under Chapter Two of this Constitution.

40. The Central Executive Committee elects the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee and determines the sphere of its activity.

42. In period between the convocation of the sessions of the Central Executive Committee, the Presidium it the supreme legislative, executive and controlling organ of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

43. The Presidium of the Central Executive Committee issues the decrees, decisions and ordinances on behalf of the Central executive Committee, approves the draft-laws submitted by the Council of People’s Commissars for consideration.

44. The Presidium of Central Executive Committee shall observe the implementation of the Constitution of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and all of the Resolutions of the Congresses of Soviets and of the Central Executive Committee by all organs of state authority; it represents the highest organ in the centre and at the local levels.

45. In the period between the convocation of sessions, the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee has the right to appoint the individual People’s Commissars upon recommendation of the Council of People’s Commissars subject to consequent approval by the Central Executive Committee, as well as of other officials of supreme organs appointment of which is a competence of the Central Executive Committee.

46. The presidium of the Central Executive Committee has the right to consider the petition on pardon and rehabilitation in political rights.

47. The presidium of the Central Executive Committee has the right to suspend and revoke the decisions and ordinances issued by the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, as well as of the People’s Commissars, Central  and District organs of state authority and district executive committees, and the decisions adopted by the District Congresses of Soviets.

48. The Presidium of the Central Executive Committee resolves the disputes between the central and local organs of state authority.

c) The Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

50. The Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is the executive and administrative organ of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia; The Council of People’s Commissars is entrusted with the general management of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

52. The Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, within the limits of its rights determined by the Central Executive Committee and operating on the basis of Regulations on the Council of People’s Commissars, has the right to issue decrees and decisions that are binding on the entire territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

53. The Republican Economic Forum shall be established at the Council of People’s Commissars, which operates on the basis of special Regulations for directing the economic policy of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and represents the organ under direct subordination to the Supreme Economic Council of the Trans-Caucasus SFSR.

54.  The Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is responsible to the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and its Presidium.

d) The People’s Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

55. For the purpose of direct administration of certain branches of the state management within the competence of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, the following People’s Commissariats shall be formed: Internal Affairs, Justice, Education, health-Care, Agriculture, Social Security and the Supreme Council of Public Economy operating on the basis of special Regulations established for them.

56. The People’s Commissariats are led by the People’s Commissars, who are the members of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

59. The People’s Commissars and the Board (panel) at the People’s Commissariats are entirely responsible to the Council of People’s Commissars, the Central Executive Committee and its Presidium.

60. The relation of the Supreme Council of Public Economy of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and the plenipotentiary representatives of the People’s Commissariats of Finance, Labour, and the Workers’ and peasants Inspectorate of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia with the corresponding Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and the Supreme organs of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is determined under Article 21 of this Constitution.

61. The Orders of the People’s Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia may be revoked by the Central Executive Committee, its Presidium and the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.  The Ordinances of the Supreme Council of Public Economy and of the Plenipotentiary Representatives of the People’s Commissariats of Finance, Labour and Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate may be revoked: with regard of the Supreme Council of Public Economy by the Supreme Council of Public Economy of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia if they are not based on the instruction of the Central Executive Committee, its presidium or the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia; with regard of Plenipotentiary representatives of the People’s Commissariats of Finance, labour and Workers’ and peasants’ Inspectorate they may be revoked by the relevant peoples’ Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia if those ordinances contravene to the directives or legislation on common and joint management.

d) Local organs of state authority: District Congress of Soviets, District Executive Committees and the Soviets of Deputies and their executive organs

62. The District Congress of Soviets is the Supreme Organ of state authority on the territory of District; in the period between convocation of Congress the District Executive Committee is the supreme organ of state authority.

69. For the purpose of direct management of certain branches on the territory of District, the District Executive Committees form the Department; the structure and competence of those departments shall be determined by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

70.  The Departments of the District Executive Committee are under direct subordination of the District Executive Committee and its Presidium; they are obliged to execute all of the instructions and orders of the district executive committee and its Presidium, as well as of the relevant People’s Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and of the Plenipotentiary Representatives of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia and of the Plenipotentiary Representatives of the People’s Commissariats of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

f) The Courts and Procurator

79. For the purpose of legal protection of the Workers’ and peasants’ State and for strengthening the revolutionary justice and protection of the public order, as well as for securing the economic interests of the state and working masses, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia forms the unified system of the People’s Court and the Procurator’s Office operating on the basis of procedural rules basic principles of which are determined by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

80. The judicial organs and the Procurator shall be guided by the civil and criminal legislation of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, and in relevant cases in accordance to this Constitution and the Constitution of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia based on the principles established by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, and in conformity to the laws operating on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia; in the event of lack of such legislation, in conformity to the common spirit of the Soviet legislation and the interests of the Workers’ and Peasants’ state.

Chapter VI

Budgetary Rights of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

90. The state revenue and expenditure of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia are combined in the state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

91. The state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, after consideration by the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, shall be approved by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia or its presidium.

92.  The state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is a part of the budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia and it shall be approved by the Central Executive Committee of All-Georgia as a constituent part of the All-state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia.

93. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, within the limits established by the All-Union and Trans-Caucasus fiscal legislation and legal acts having the binding force on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia on the basis of this Constitution, shall establish the rules for drafting, examination, approval and execution of the state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

94. The revenue sources of the state budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the expenditure of this budget shall be determined in pursuance to the legislation of the Trans-Caucasus SFSR within the limits established by the All-Union legislation.

95. All taxes and duties on the territory of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall be introduced in conformity to the All-Union legislation.

98. All local revenues and expenditures are combined in the local budgets in conformity to the All-Union and Trans-Caucasus SFSR legislation and to the legal acts issued by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia for development of the aforementioned legislation.  The rules for drafting, examination, approval and execution of the local budget shall be established on the basis of same order.

100. The reports on implementation of the budget of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia shall be approved by the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia.

Chapter VII.

The Coat of Arms, Flag and Capital City of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia

101. The coat of arms of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia consists of the background with the landscape of Abkhazia on which a golden scythe and hammer are places.  On the top there is a five-pointed star in sun-rays. The coat of arms is surrounded by corn, tobacco and grape wreath inscribes in three languages, Abkhaz, Georgian and Russian: „Abkhaz SSR“ and „Workers pf all the Countries, Unite!“

102. The state flag of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia consists of red cloth or purple linen, in the left top corner of which are placed scythe and hammer and above them the five-pointed star surrounded with a golden swath, inscribed four letters: ASSR. The size 1:2.

103. The capital of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Abkhazia is city of Sukhum.

27 October 1926


- The Congresses of the Soviets of the USSR, Union and Autonomous Soviets Socialist Republics, vol. 6. The Congresses of the Soviets of the Union and Autonomous Soviets Socialist Republics of Transcaucasus, 1923-1937. M. 1964, p. 711-729/in Russian

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