Publication details

The draft of the Military Criminal Code and the law of the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia



Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skłodowska: Sectio G (Ius)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Law

Keywords Czechoslovak Legion; Military Criminal Code; Russian Civil War; Czechoslovakia; Viktor Svoboda
Description The article presents the reasons for the creation, content and fate of the draft of the military criminal code developed for the needs of the Czechoslovak Legion in Siberia at the time of its involvement in the Russian Civil War. After introducing the historical background of the Legion’s activity in Russia, it summarizes the functioning of the improvised legal system that the legionnaires, cut off in Siberia from their command in Europe, had to create and maintain. Subsequently, the paper deals with the reasons for the necessity of creating a new criminal code in the middle of a civil war and the process of its creation, as well as a brief summary of the content of the individual parts of the draft. The last chapter sheds light both on the reasons why the code did not come into effect in the end, and on the “second life” that was breathed into it by the Corps Court (the Supreme Court of the Czechoslovak Army in Siberia) in its resolution S-2/19. In addition to general history books dealing with the Czechoslovak legions, the sources for this article were, in particular, archival materials of the Legal Department of the Branch of the Czechoslovak National Council in Russia, containing, among other things, the original draft of the code, and the book-published memoirs of Viktor Svoboda, chairman of the Legal Department.

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