Practice Relating to Rule 155. Defence of Superior Orders
Austria’s Military Penal Code (1970), as amended, provides that a soldier is responsible for punishable acts even if he committed them in execution of an order.
In its judgment in the Leopold case
in 1967, in which the accused was convicted of the murder of several prisoners of war in Poland during the Second World War, Austria’s Supreme Court held that under the principles laid down in the Nuremberg judgment, obedience to an order of a superior neither justified an offence nor in general excused it. Only “absolute coercion” could constitute such an excuse.