THE ORGANIZATIONAL-LEGAL FOUNDATIONS FOR MARTIAL LAW IN THE USSR DURING THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR (1941-1945)
Khridina N. A.
Khridina, Natalia Aleksandrovna – Candidate of Science (Sociology), Lecturer of the Department of Theory and History of State and Law at the Far Eastern Academy of State Service (Khabarovsk).
The paper considers the organizational-legal foundations for introducing martial law in the USSR during the Great Patriotic War. The author provides analysis of normative acts that regulated the order of introducing martial law and the specific features of organization of governing bodies under martial law. The author points to the fact that preliminary legislative work for martial law began in the prewar period from the late 1920s. The institution of martial law was fixed in the Constitution in 1936 and came into force on the first day of the war. Extraordinary governmental authority was established and modified to meet the requirements of time and not considered in the pre-war plan.
Along with martial law the author analyses the institution of the state of siege. Its specific feature was that it was introduced in the most important regions of the front line-zone under immediate threat of being captured by the enemy. A state of siege imposed a more rigid legal regime compared to martial law.
During the period of strategic defense, "scorched-earth policy", the most severe of all the extraordinary regimes of martial law, was introduced in regions of fighting. According to the "scorched-earth policy", the Soviet population had to destroy all settlements so that the enemy could not use them.
The author comes to the conclusion that the experience of the Great Patriotic War allows us to consider martial law as the most important and consistent means of governance during wartime. The introduction of martial law led to a qualitatively new level of military-organizational work. This, in its turn, contributed to the victorious execution of the major tasks of defense of the country and defeat of the German-fascist troops by the Armed Forces.
Key words: state of emergency, martial law, state of siege, scorched-earth policy, military legislation, bodies of state administration.