Practice Relating to Rule 155. Defence of Superior Orders
The Russian Federation’s Criminal Code (1996) provides:
Article 42. Execution of Order or Instruction
1. Infliction of harm to legally protected interests shall not be qualified as an act of crime provided it was caused by a person acting in execution of an order or instruction binding on him. Criminal responsibility for infliction of such harm shall be borne by a person who gave the illegal order or instruction.
2. A person who committed intentional offence in execution of an order or instruction known to be illegal shall be liable under the usual terms. Failure to execute the order or instruction known to be illegal shall preclude criminal liability.
Article 332. Failure to Execute an Order
1. Failure to execute a superior’s lawful order by a subordinate, if it has caused substantial harm to the interests of military service, shall be punishable by restriction in military service for a term of up to two years or by arrest, for a term of six months, or by custody in a disciplinary military unit for a term of up to two years.
2. The same deed, committed by a group of persons, a group of persons in a preliminary conspiracy, or by an organized group, and also entailing severe consequences, shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of up to five years.
3. Failure to execute an order, due to a careless or dishonest attitude to military service, if it has involved serious consequences, shall be punishable by restriction in military service for a term of up to one year, or by arrest for a term of three to six months, or by custody in a disciplinary military unit for a term of up to two years.