Legalism was always an important Soviet tactic. This was shown at the very early stage of executing the Russian Revolution. The Czar was replaced by the Provisional Government of Kerensky, then that by the Bolsheviks, all in 1917. The provisional stage acted as a cut-out, replacing the abdicating czar. The Russian Army command was given to think that relative and fighting commander Gran Duke Michael would replace him, not his son the Tsarevich Alexei, thus the generals accepted the legalism of replacing the incompetent czar and not the automatic succession of his very ill son. The generals were conned, as the replacement of the Provisional Government, after some months, was the Bolsheviks. Of course I can't say exactly what 1917 Russian generals were thinking, but I have seen it stated that one front line general, Brusilov as I recall, acted in that way.
Leftists are often extremely legalistic, as shown by SPLC and such organisations, although when judges were previously conservative they mocked them.
Last edited by Ian; November 23rd, 2013 at 07:28 AM.