Dalhousie Law Journal


Leon Trakman


Soviet Union, comparative method, single legal system, Belorussian and Ukrainian criminal law


In an earlier contribution to this journal' the present writer called attention to growing interest, in the Soviet Union, in the application of the comparative method to the study of Soviet domestic law as evidenced by the appearance of two criminal law texts devoted exclusively to Belorussian and Ukrainian criminal law. The volume herein reviewed elaborates that theme and endeavours to come expressly to grips with the methodological issues implicit in analyzing a single legal system from a comparative standpoint. The impetus for studying Soviet law from a comparative perspective evidently dates from the late 1960s and owes much to the efforts of Uzbek jurists. The research tasks of the Comparative Law Sector of the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences received the formal sanction of the State Committee for Science and Technology of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1968; these include: (a) the theoretical study and generalization of the experience of socialist construction in the union republics using the comparative method; (b) identifying the general societal laws of development and specific pecularities in union republic constitutional law; (c) working out the basic principles for applying the comparative method to various branches of Soviet law; (d) preparing proposals for improving Soviet legislation and the structure of state administration, and (e) training comparatists.