The Government and the Parliament
Despite the fact that a Soviet government existed since the Revolution — at least in name — and that its functions were divided between ministries, it was always difficult to precisely determine its functions. In contrast to the Western system of government in which there is a more or less clearly defined differentiation between the legislative, executive and the judiciary, such a distinction did not exist in the Soviet Union. Although, formally, the Councils, better known as Soviets, were supposed to act as the legislative arm of the system according to the 1977 Soviet Constitution, they never exercised such powers. They were rather a rubber stamp for any laws submitted for its consideration by the Party. Another well known fact is that the judiciary in the USSR was never independent and has been used as an instrument for the exercise of absolute power by the Soviet leadership.
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