In 1919, Goikhbarg, one of the leading lawyers and later the author of the 1922 Civil Code, criticized constitutionalism and Rechtsstaat as reactionary concepts which in reality concealed class struggle. Most laws had to be endorsed by the Politburo before being submitted to the Supreme Soviet. Socialist legality has never been a politically neutral concept; it was compatible with the “leading role of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” The general framework of the party-state relationship underwent considerable change. Probably the most significant change in party-state relations in the field of law involved the nomenklatura system. The concept of law-based state as discussed in the USSR also acknowledges that the impartiality of the judiciary is a key element. The seemingly diminishing role of the nomenklatura system as regards judges and procurators is particlarly indicative of the changes taking place.
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