The Supreme Court is described in the Constitution as "the
highest judicial authority" that directs "all...judicial agencies
and also establishes supervision over their judicial activity."
It is elected for a four-year term by the People's Great Hural,
and it presides over the lower structure made up of eighteen
aymag courts and local somon courts. Members of the
local court structure were elected locally, and the judges for
these courts served three-year terms. Elected in May 1986, the
chairman of the Supreme Court, Lubsandorjiyn Renchin, had a first
deputy and two other deputies, including the chairmen of the
criminal affairs and the military affairs collegia.
The Procurator of the Republic exercises "supreme supervision
over the precise observance of laws by all ministries and other
central agencies of administrations, institutions and
organizations." The procurator was appointed by the People's
Great Hural for a term of four years.
The law and the legal system were described officially as
being solidly grounded in the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. The
purpose was to ensure that the socioeconomic order produced and
shaped a distinctive political, economic, and legal
superstructure. Within this context, the principal function of
law was to regulate the economy and to contribute to the building
of socialism. As of 1989, there still was a limited role for
custom in the area of socialist law, but only those considered
compatible with prevailing legal norms persisted. There also was
a new emphasis on equal rights for women. For the most part, the
law functioned as a body of prescriptive regulations that guided
social relationships and interpreted the duties of citizens in
ways that the party found to be in the best interests of society
and development. In general, regulations and codes controlled
more areas of life than ever before.
Two separate legal codes form the basis of Mongolian law--the
Civil Code and the Criminal Code. The Civil Code, which went into
effect in April 1963, was modeled closely on the code adopted by
the Soviet Union in 1963. This code regulates personal relations
more carefully than had been the case before its enactment. It
extends certain rights, including protecting the honor and the
dignity of citizens. The code enlarges the discussion of
obligations to include contracts of delivery and carriage--
matters essential to efficient business operations. There also
are law codes that apply to the family and to the workplace.
Formal training in law was given under the Faculty of Social
Sciences of the Mongolian State University. Beginning in 1980,
100 full-time students per year were enrolled at this
institution. Although the Constitution contains no channel of
appeal, the law does provide for appeals of all verdicts except
those of the Supreme Court.
Data as of June 1989