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a codified legislative act establishing the foundations, conditions, and limits of criminal responsibility and providing for the punishment of crimes.
In the USSR the adoption of criminal codes is assigned to the Union republics. Between 1959 and 1961, criminal codes were adopted in all Union republics. The codes correspond to the Basic Principles of Criminal Legislation of the USSR and the Union Republics of 1958 and to other all-Union criminal laws. They also reflect the national characteristics peculiar to the individual republics. The Criminal Code of the RSFSR was adopted on Oct. 27,1960, and put into effect on Jan. 1,1961.
The criminal codes of the Union republics are constructed within a uniform system and are divided into general and special parts. The general part of a criminal code covers its tasks and the bases of criminal responsibility; formulates the concept and basic characteristics of crime and the types of guilt and complicity in a crime; defines the purposes of punishment; and lists the kinds of punishment and the principles and procedure for the assignment of punishment and release from punishment. The special part of the criminal code contains an exhaustive list of socially dangerous acts recognized as criminal and punishable. Its articles list the most important characteristics of specific crimes (the formal element of the definition of the crime) and give the measures of punishment established for commission of the crimes.