Statute of the Tribunal of the Press

Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press. December 31, 1917


1. Under the Revolutionary Tribunal is created a Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press. This Tribunal will have jurisdiction of crimes and offenses against the people committed by means of the press.

2. Crimes and offenses by means of the press are the publication and circulation of any false or perverted reports and information about events of public life, in so far as they constitute an attempt upon the rights and interests of the revolutionary people.

3. The Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press consists of three members, elected for a period not longer than three months by the Soviet of Workmen, Soldier and Peasant Deputies. These members are charged with the conduct of the preliminary investigation as well as the trial of the case.

4. The following serve as grounds for instituting proceedings: reports of legal or administrative institutions, public organizations, or private persons.

5. The prosecution and defense are conducted on the principles laid down in the instructions to the general Revolutionary Tribunal.

6. The sessions of the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press are public.

7. The decisions of the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press are final and are not subject to appeal.

8. The Revolutionary Tribunal imposes the following penalties: (i) fine, (ii) expression of public censure, which the convicted organ of the Press brings to the general knowledge in a way indicated by the Tribunal, (iii) the publication in a prominent place or in a special edition of a denial of the false report, (iv) temporary or permanent suppression of the publication or its exclusion from circulation, (v) confiscation to national ownership of the printing-shop or property of the organ of the Press if it belongs to the convicted parties.

9. The trial of an organ of the Press by the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press does not absolve the guilty persons from general criminal responsibility.

Source: International Conciliation (1919), pp. 30-31.

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