Laws and law of wartime predictably differ from the law of the period of peaceful development of states. Together they pursue one goal - to achieve victory over the enemy. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Great Patriotic War made significant corrections, including legal ones, in the system of state power in the USSR.
The people are always in favor.
We are not surprised by emergency measures, for example, in wartime Great Britain (we do not take the fascist regimes as an example). Recall that in 1940, emergency legislation was passed there. Also, it must be said, it was distinguished by its harshness, which significantly limited the civil rights of the population, introduced general labor service, and curtailed freedom of the press.
Search for enemies and spying - Soviet "inventions"? Yes no: according to the emergency legislation of the UK, “suspicious” citizens were monitored. And thousands of people who were suspected of having links with Germany or sympathizing with the Nazis, without any charges were sent to prison, sometimes to concentration camps. A good example is the arrest of 23 in May 1940 of leaders and members of the “British Fascist Union” led by Sir O. Mosley and his wife R. Thompson and others, despite the protests against the violation of individual freedom in various circles. But in this case, the suspicions were at least justified. But then arrests in all parts of the country followed and 20 of thousands of British Nazis (or those numbered among them) ended up in prison. The total number of people imprisoned in Britain as a result of suspicions about ties with Germany or sympathy for Hitler, was about 30 thousand people. In total, 74, thousands of citizens of hostile British states, suffered from repressions. Already at the beginning of the war, restrictions were placed on their freedom of movement.
All foreigners and stateless persons were forbidden to go out at night, to appear on the streets before 6 in the morning. All foreigners were removed from the 20-mile strip along the southeast coast of the UK.
The merciless exploitation of citizens, including women and children, an unbearable working day, an insufficient ration of products on the cards - features of Soviet wartime? And again, no: as labor reserves of unemployed and forced labor in the UK were exhausted, for example, 3 million women (landgirls) and adolescents were mobilized, a total of 750 thousand pensioners were hired. The men who went to the army and the navy in the USA were also replaced by women in defense enterprises (“ros-riveters”).
In accordance with the UK Emergency Defense Law on 25 in May 1940, public authorities received the right to use any person they see fit. For the Kingdom, as well as for the wartime USSR, centralization of management was characteristic: control over human resources not only in state but also in private enterprises was entrusted to the Ministry of Labor and National Service. The Law on “Important Works” of 5 in March 1941 forbade the unauthorized departure from work, excluded the dismissal of workers by owners of enterprises without the permission of the Ministry of Labor and national service. The working time has been increased by 6 hours per week. The Special Circular of the Minister of Labor and National Service No 1305 of 18 on July 1940 of the year effectively banned strikes.
Mass propaganda involving the population and mass demonstrations - a sign of "Soviet totalitarianism"? Repeat, no: in the UK practiced this kind of propaganda, as "columns of silence", which led the fight against defeatist sentiments. And for the doubters and alarmists, measures were introduced that “strengthened faith in victory”: for the doubts in victory - a month in prison, for expressing these doubts in a conversation with soldiers - three months in prison, for praising Hitler - five years in prison. The police and the population strictly monitored the mood of the population and severely suppressed conversations, regarded as pro-fascist or expressing sympathy from Germany. The government called: "Be watchful!"
Emergency measures in relation to the civilian population suspected of "helping the enemies", the deportation of peoples - this is Stalin's personal bloodthirstiness and the result of the "Soviet bloody moloch"? For example, in the United States after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, due to "military necessity", by order of F. Roosevelt (the same was confirmed by a presidential decree from February 19 1942) of all Japanese-Americans, including those who had only 1 / 16 part of the Japanese blood, without exception, was collected at the stadiums, and then, without charge, without a trial, they were sent into the interior. Barracks were quickly built for them in 10 concentration camps in the Alabama Desert. Their total number is, according to researchers, 112 thousand people, among whom 74 thousand were US citizens. According to official data, about 120 thousand people were imprisoned in these camps. According to Japanese authors, about 300 thousand. Some authors refer to the number of interned Japanese to 300 thousand, and even to half a million.
In the UK during the Second World War, more than 48 thousands of people were deported. At the same time, it is important to emphasize one detail: neither in Great Britain nor in the States did they seek and could not find evidence of the disloyal attitude of the Germans and Japanese living on their territory. But in the Soviet Union such evidence was: anti-Soviet agitation, harboring German paratroopers, the creation of anti-Soviet military formations that fought on the side of the fascists, etc. Of course, you can say: "he who seeks will always find." But the “strongholds of democracy” were not even searched. Although you can recall the tribunals for foreigners in the year 1940 in the UK.
Restriction of press freedom is characteristic only for the USSR? But already in 1941, English newspapers received a warning to beware of reckless remarks. Their editors were specifically made to understand that the state would not tolerate “irresponsible” criticism; however, what criticism is permissible, and what is not, the government itself will decide.
We will not continue that in war as in war, therefore the rigidity of the norms of law of this time does not relate to the features of government, but characterizes one or another degree of wartime for the state, the degree of involvement of territories and population in military operations, especially the economy and military industry and so forth
Wartime led to the introduction of a special legal regime in the USSR, providing for and the adoption of emergency measures. These included: a serious expansion of the powers of the military authorities, an expansion of the list of cases attributed to the jurisdictional military tribunals, the use of emergency measures to ensure the security of the state, protect public order and strengthen the country's defense.
The first step was the ultimate centralization of power and control in the hands of a narrow circle of people. In the USSR, the State Committee of Defense (hereinafter GKO) became such a body. As follows from the Decision of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, published on 30 on June 1941, such a measure was dictated by the need to speed up the decision-making process and measures to protect the state from aggressors, the need to rally the Soviet people.
The educated GKO concentrated all power in its hands, and personally headed the Committee I.V. Stalin. The State Defense Committee controlled all processes in a strategic sense, aimed at solving military tasks. The committee also solved local tasks: it carried out the management of operations for solving tactical defense tasks in Moscow and Leningrad. Owing to the rigid centralization of power in the hands of the state security body and in accordance with the Decree “On Martial Law”, the military authorities could independently issue binding resolutions for the entire population, issue orders to local authorities, state and public institutions and organizations, and demand their immediate execution. Also, the military authorities were given the right to impose penalties for non-execution of orders. It could be administrative penalties: a fine of up to three thousand rubles. or imprisonment for up to six months.
The second step in wartime conditions in the USSR, as in other countries, was the suspension of a number of constitutional norms until the end of the war. A part of the constitutional norms was changed in accordance with the emergency situation. Some institutions of Soviet law, which were not used in practice during the peace period, became widely used, some of them were designed for a relatively long period of validity.
The Soviet legal institutions have undergone a particular deformation regarding the establishment of harsh emergency measures. Typical and widely known examples are orders No. 270 and No. 227. In accordance with Order No. 270, soldiers who surrendered voluntarily were captured as “malicious deserters”. Their families were also subject to arrest, because under the law of wartime they fell into the category of families of oath-breakers and traitors to the Motherland. For the commanding officers who discovered such a crime, there is a categorical demand in the order: “to shoot on the spot such deserters from among the commanders”.
"Not one step back!" - Under this name, Order No. 227, which, like the previous one, was aimed at tightening military discipline, became famous. If you consider historical situation at the time of the publication of this order, and it was published on July 28, 1942, you can see the reasons for its seemingly unjustified rigidity. It was a period of severe military crisis, the period after the defeat of the Red Army near Kharkov, after the surrender of Rostov-on-Don. After these military failures, in addition to human and personnel losses, in addition to technical losses, the USSR was on the verge of defense, and the food crisis began.
The named military failures reduced the territory of the USSR (Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic, Donbass and other areas were lost). It could not pass without a trace: there was less labor resources (more than 70 million population was lost), bread (more than 80 million pounds lost), metal (less than 10 million tons of metal per year), factories and plants. This strongly hit the parity of the opponents: the USSR had no advantages over Germany and its allies in terms of human and material resources.
The command considered the spread of defeatism among the troops and among the population to be one of the reasons for the failures. This problem was solved by Order No. 227. The text of the order sets the task of eliminating retreat and defeatist sentiments in military units. And, of course, this order refers to the creation of the notorious penal battalions. note that this is the 1942 year, despite the fact that it is widely believed that they were created almost in the first days of the war. In this regard, I would like to mention the infamous film with the most expensive budget in Russian cinema (“Burnt by the Sun-2”), where this duck became one of the foundations of the plot. Perhaps a part of the budget would still be worth spending on a historical consultant.
Returning to the Order number 227, then it advised the advice of the armies, above all the commanders of the armies:
"... b) form 3-5 armies (200 men in each) within the army, put them in the immediate rear of unstable divisions and force them to help in case of panic and indiscriminate withdrawal of divisions in the area of alarmists and underpants. honest division fighters to fulfill their duty to their homeland;
c) form penal companies (from 5 to 10 people in each) within the army from 150 to 200 (depending on the situation), where to send ordinary soldiers and junior commanders who have been guilty of breach of discipline for cowardice or instability, and put them on difficult sections army to give them the opportunity to atone for their crimes in front of their homeland. "
Both the order itself and the consequences of its use are evaluated from different points of view. But if you bypass the humanistic values that always suffer significantly in wartime, you will have to admit that tough measures have turned the tide of war by 180 degrees.
It was these two orders that became the basis of the well-established myths about the bloody nature of the military legislation of the Soviet.
The remaining measures of extraordinary character fit within the framework of international legal practice in wartime. In this regard, it is worth referring to the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 22 June 1941 of the year, which approved the “Provision on military tribunals in areas declared under martial law and in areas of hostilities”. This Decree expanded the competence of the military tribunals, and the trial procedure itself was simplified. Note that the principles of publicity, orality and immediacy, however, have not changed and are still respected.
But even in wartime, the process of the rule-making activities of representative bodies of power at all levels, including the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, despite the restrictions, did not stop. But in the procedural aspect, simplifications were adopted for adopting, discussing and approving legal acts and documents, which indicated a desire to adapt a cumbersome bureaucratic machine to rapidly changing conditions. During this period, the draft laws did not pass through a broad public and expert discussion, and were not subject to broad public evaluation. Basically, they were quickly discussed specifically on the occasion of the use of specialized commissions.
The norm-setting process continued and the norms of various branches of law were revised. Particularly strongly, the change affected the rights of personal property in favor of expanding the rights of the state in respect of certain objects of personal property of citizens.
It is worth noting that even the requisition of property was carried out. True, these norms do not justify the hopes of lovers of myths about the bloody regime, which deprives people of everything: citizens pledged to temporarily hand over radio sets, etc. The fact that this is a temporary measure, says the Decree of the CPC and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) of 21 in August 1943. In it, council councils, regional executive committees and regional committees of the eastern regions and republics were obliged to return cattle that had been evacuated to the east, etc., on the liberated lands of the collective farms. property seized in accordance with the regime of wartime.
The housing legislation has also undergone a change: it was directed to the priority consideration of the issues of the rights of servicemen and their families to provide housing, specifically protecting these categories of citizens. In the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR on 5 of August 1941, the military personnel retained the living area assigned to them, which was exempt from rent, utility bills. Persons evacuated to the East due to military necessity and security considerations had a special housing and legal status.
Changes were made in the order of inheritance. Note that these norms were connected with the mass death of people, which required legislative expansion of the list of their heirs. Citizens were allowed under the will to leave their property to one or several heirs, but it was forbidden to deprive underage heirs of the share that would be due to them for inheritance under the law. By a decree of 14 in March 1945, “On the heirs by law and by will”, the order of succession was established. New categories of heirs appear, their circle expands: disabled parents, brothers and sisters of the testator. Every citizen could bequeath his property to state and public bodies, to one or several persons. In the absence of heirs by law, the property could be bequeathed to another person.
In addition to civilian, labor legislation has undergone changes for obvious reasons: large-scale casualties. It was necessary to replenish labor resources, replacing those who had gone to the front, ensuring non-stop work of enterprises, etc.
In order to ensure the country's defense, a large-scale mobilization of the able-bodied population was conducted during the period of military operations. The decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from February 13 1942 defined the categories to be mobilized: men aged from 16 to 55 years, women from 16 to 45 years. Criminal liability was established for evading labor mobilization. Persons working in state institutions and enterprises and some other categories of citizens were not subject to mobilization.
Those who have not reached 16 years could not be brought to compulsory overtime work for more than 2 hours a day, while their work was paid in one and a half times. All holidays of workers were canceled, but monetary compensation was provided. The exception was the employees up to 16 years, those who needed sick leave due to pregnancy and childbirth.
Changed and family law. Due to the catastrophic loss of the population of the Soviet Union, lawmakers turned to the problem of strengthening the institution of family and marriage. Introduced the separation of the concepts of registered and actual marriage. Only registered marriage remained in the legal field, the rights and obligations of the spouses established by it were established. Actual marital relations (in modern terminology “civil marriage”, “cohabitation”) were no longer equal to a registered marriage. It was stipulated that persons who were in de facto marital relations prior to the issuance of the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of July 8 of 1944, could formalize their relationship by registering a marriage with an indication of the period of living together. Four months later, adjustments were already made by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (November 10 1944) “On the procedure for recognizing actual marital relations in the event of the death or disappearance of one of the spouses”. This is caused by the realities of wartime: as an exception, it was allowed to establish actual marital relations in court in the event of death or disappearance on the front of one of the spouses. Such recognition could have been made if such a relationship had arisen before 8 July 1944. The surviving spouse could apply to the court to declare him the spouse of the deceased or missing person as his spouse. The divorce process, which could only be carried out in court, became more complicated.
At the same time, to initiate a case, it was necessary to observe a number of mandatory conditions, including filing with the people’s court a desire to dissolve the marriage, indicating the reason for the divorce. The process of divorce went through two stages of the trial. The first stage was aimed at reconciliation of the spouses. In case of failure, the plaintiff had to file an application to a higher court. This court and the decision was made, including the decision of issues of division of property, payment of divorce, the situation of children. The simplified procedure of the divorce process was applied in the case of the absence or loss of one of the spouses on the front. However, these circumstances were not recognized as absolute reasons for the termination of the marriage, and the validity of the requirement of divorce was determined by the court each time.
Soviet wartime legislation did not bypass the problem of protecting mothers and children, which was not observed in other countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. The interests of mother and child were given special attention at the beginning of the war: additional rations were given to pregnant women, the organization of nursery services improved. Subsequently, with a view to increasing material assistance to pregnant women, mothers of many children and single mothers, encouraging families with many children and enhancing maternal and child health, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council adopted a decree of July 8 on increasing state aid for pregnant women, mothers with many children and single mothers, strengthening motherhood protection and childhood. The measures of non-material encouragement were also applied: the highest degree of distinction was established - the title “Mother-heroine”, the order “Maternal fame” and “Medal of motherhood” were established. In the same category is the legislative work aimed at developing the legal framework for patronage and family admission of orphans. The first all-union act, containing the rules of patronage, was issued on 1944 on January 23. There was a cash allowance for the maintenance of each patronized in the amount of 1942 rubles per month, they were separately provided with clothing. By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of September 50, 8 was allowed to record young children in acts of civil status as their own children. In this case, the child was given the surname and patronymic of the adopter.
The issue of food supply is of paramount importance in wartime, therefore changes were made in collective farm law. The resolution of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) from 13 on April 1942 at the time of the war increased the mandatory minimum of workdays per year to 150 workdays in cotton areas, to 100 in Moscow and Ivanovo regions and other areas specifically designated in the resolution according to the list of the USSR People's Commissariat. In the rest of the USSR, the labor minimum was 120 days per year. Separately, the number of workdays was stipulated, which the collective farmer had to work during different periods of agricultural work. For non-fulfillment of the standards for working days specified in the Ordinance, able-bodied collective farmers were prosecuted. In the agricultural work involved and the children of members of the collective farm aged 12-16 years. Their labor minimum was 50 workdays per year.
To control the implementation of the norms of the Ordinance, fairly stringent measures were applied. Excluded from the members of the collective farm are those who have not developed the workdays norm for the year. This exception was accompanied by the deprivation of land. The chairmen of collective farms who covered such draft dodgers were also brought to justice. At the legal level, many particular practical issues were also regulated: additional pay, protection of young stock for increasing livestock, etc.
A separate bloc in the USSR developed legislation aimed at combating a special kind of crimes aimed at protecting state secrets, combating espionage, sabotage, subversive activities, etc. At the same time, as old criminal norms continued to be practiced, so were new ones. By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from November 15 1943, criminal punishment of imprisonment up to 10 years (for officials), up to three years (for private persons) for disclosing state secrets or loss of documents containing state secrets was introduced. An alternative could be to send the perpetrator to the front, then the postponement of the execution of the sentence was applied. A conviction could be removed from distinguished themselves in battles. 2 May 1944 was criminalized for illegal awarding. In the event of loss of the banner, the military unit was disbanded, and the perpetrators were subject to trial by a military tribunal. The decisions taken by the tribunal were not disputed, while the sentence could be passed without investigation.
With the approaching end of the war, emergency measures gradually began to be less often practiced, then canceled. Thus, the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from December 30 of 1944 declared an amnesty in respect of persons convicted of violating labor discipline in accordance with the Decree of December 26 of 1941.
Thus, the basic norms of Soviet law in the war period in most cases were not of a long-term nature, and in their focus corresponded to similar trends in the legislation of “democratic states”. As well as such processes as centralization of legislative power in the hands of a limited circle of people, restriction of rule-making activities of representative bodies of power at all levels, suspension of a number of constitutional norms and the extraordinary nature of a number of legal norms.