The Re-birth of Soviet Criminal Law in Post-Soviet Russia
Unlike some other Soviet Codes, first acts of the Bolshevist Criminal law were not modeled after the pre-revolutionary imperial codes. In the early Soviet criminal legislation, key juridical categories were replaced by sociological categories. The Marxist-Leninist principle of supremacy of interests of the state over the interests of an individual was envisaged on the legislative level and became a fundamental principle of the Soviet criminal law: crimes against the state were made the gravest ones, and the punishment for these crimes was much heavier than for all other crimes. The principle of analogy allowed criminal prosecution even in the cases, where the offence was not stipulated in the Criminal Code. In 1930s, the trend towards criminal repression intensified. Big changes, including the restoration of the traditional vocabulary of criminal law, the limitation of the doctrine of analogy, the careful analysis of crime in terms of subject and object, took place in the Soviet criminal legislation in 1960, when the new Criminal Code of the RSFSR was adopted. 1990s saw the long-awaited humanization and modernization of Russian criminal law, but situation started to change after the turn of the millennium.
Certain cases as well as recently passed pieces of the Russian legislation show the sings of old Soviet attitudes in contemporary Russian criminal law and law enforcement.
About the AuthorEkaterina Mishina
Visiting Professor, Law School, Department of Political Science
5946 Cedar Ridge Drive, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103, USA
1. Мишина Е. Длинные тени советского прошлого [Mishina E. Long Shadows of the Soviet Past] (Moscow: “Liberalnaya Missiya,” 2014).
2. Пионтковский А. Марксизм и уголовное право. О некоторых спорных вопросах теории уголовного права [Piontkovsky A. Marxism and the Criminal Law. On Certain Disputable Issues of Criminal Law Theory] (Moscow: Juridical Publishing House of the People’s Commissariat of Justice of the USSR, 1927).
3. Ферри Э. Уголовная социология [Ferri E. Criminal Sociology] (Moscow: Infra-M, 2009).
4. Berman H.J. Principles of Soviet Criminal Law, 56 Yale Law Journal (1947).
5. Berman H.J. Soviet Criminal Law and Procedure: The RSFSR Codes (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972).
6. Maggs P.B. et al. Law and Legal System of the Russian Federation (6th ed., Huntington, New York: Juris Publishing Inc., 2015).
7. Soviet Law after Stalin (D.D. Barry et al., eds., The Netherlands: Sijthoff and Noordhoff Publishers, 1978).
For citation: Mishina E. The Re-birth of Soviet Criminal Law in Post-Soviet Russia. Russian Law Journal. 2017;5(1):57-78. https://doi.org/10.17589/2309-8678-2017-5-1-57-78
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0.