The highest organ of state power is the representative organ in communist states that functions as the sole branch of government according to the principle of unified power.[1] For example, the government of the Soviet Union was designated as the highest executive and administrative body of the highest organ of state power, the All-Union Supreme Soviet.[2]

The powers of the highest organ of state power are constrained only by the limits it has itself set by adopting constitutional and legal documents. In China, according to Chinese legal scholar Zhou Fang, "[t]he powers of the National People's Congress as the highest organ of state power are boundless, its authority extends to the entire territory of the country, and, if necessary, it can intervene in any matter which it finds it requisite to do so."[3] More specifically, according to Chinese legal scholars Xu Chongde and Niu Wenzhan, "[t]he other central State organs are created by the NPC and execute the laws and resolutions made by the NPC."[4] These bodies are not permanent and generally convene at least once a year.

In between sessions, most or all of its duties and responsibilities are transferred to its working body, usually named either presidium, state council or standing committee. For instance, Article 19 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution states that the Presidium of the All-Union Supreme Soviet exercised "the functions of the highest body of state authority of the USSR between sessions of the Supreme Soviet".[5] These bodies have the power to issue decrees or regulations in lieu of law. In most cases, if such measures are not ratified by the highest organ at its next session, they are considered revoked. However, in some countries, even this formality was not observed.


"Legislatures in communist states" redirects here. For a broader list of state legislatures, see List of legislatures by country.

The structure of the politics of Vietnam illustrating the central role of the National Assembly of Vietnam - a modern, existing and typical example of a highest organ of state power.

Highest organs of state power have been commonly called legislatures by outside observers, but the constitutional documents and laws of these states rarely call them as such. Instead, they tend to be described as having national legislative power. For example, the Constitution of Vietnam has described the nation's highest organ of state power as:

State system - The National Assembly

The National Assembly is the highest representative organ of the people; the highest organ of state power of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the sole organ that has the constitutional and legislative rights.

Politics of Vietnam, Viet Nam Government Portal

The following is a list of highest organs of state power in contemporary and historical communist states:


Other usage

This term "highest organ of state power" also exists in certain non-communist states, but has a different meaning. For example, Japan's National Diet is referred to as "the highest organ of state power..." in Article 41 of the Constitution, possibly in reference to the influence of parliamentary sovereignty from the Constitution of the United Kingdom.[6]

See also