Sovnarkom
Decree on the Right to Issue Laws


Written: October 30/November 12, 1917
First Published: Sobranie Uzakonenii i Rasporiazhenii Rabochego i Krestianskogo Pravitelstva, 1917, No. 1, pp. 10-11.
Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, The Bolshevik revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and materials, Stanford University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934, p. 187.
Translated: Emanuel Aronsberg
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: marxists.org 2017


1. From now on until the convocation of the Constituent Assembly the preparation and drafting of laws shall be carried out by the Provisional Government of Workers and Peasants elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies in the order set forth in the present regulations.

2. Each law project is to be submitted to the government by the respective Commissariat concerned, over the signature of the corresponding People's Commissar; or it may be submitted by the Bureau of Legislative Projects attached to the government over the signature of the chief of the department.

3. After it has passed the government, the decree in its final wording is to be signed in the name of the Russian Republic by the President of the Soviet of People's Commissars or, acting in his stead, by the People's Commissar who submitted the said decree for the consideration of the government; it will then be published for general information.

4. The day of its publication in the official Gazette of the Provisional Workers' and Peasants' Government will be the day on which a decree is recognized as having come into force as a law.

5. Other conditions by which it may come into force may be especially mentioned, or it may become effective by telegraph, in which case it will be considered as having come into force whenever and wherever such telegrams are published.

6. The publication of government decrees by the State Senate is suspended. The Bureau of Legislative Projects attached to the Soviet of People's Commissars is to publish periodically digests of those decrees and ordinances of the government which have become laws.

7. The Central Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers', Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies has a right to defer, modify, or annul any decisions of the government.[1]

V. ULIANOV (LENIN)

President of the Soviet of People's Commissars


Notes

[1] W. R. Batsell, Soviet Rule in Russia, New York, 1929, pp. 77-79, gives a translation of a plan of organization of the Central Executive Committee dated November 15, 1917. The plan provided for large and small sessions, for a presidium, and for eleven departments or commissions.