What is “criminal misconduct”: the Supreme court made a criminal revolution

The Plenum of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation approved the draft law on amendments to the criminal code “in connection with the introduction of the concept of criminal offence”. Under the new criminal code (if it is accepted the state Duma) has committed no serious crimes remain at large, and will not even have criminal records.

In conditions when the authorities no end to speak of humanization, in fact, only stronger and stronger tightening the screws, it is almost a miracle. If translated into the language of numbers: 80 crimes (e.g., slander, infliction of harm, violation of copyright and illegal banking or business activities) will be considered misconduct. So, every year 40-50 thousand of them committed people will get the chance not to join the prison population.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The Supreme court first spoke about the concept of “criminal misconduct”. Chairman VS Vyacheslav Lebedev a few years ago said in an interview with “MK” that the introduction of a “criminal offence” could have saved many families. Because often crimes are committed by stupidity or coincidence. Lebedev gave examples: for instance, a prominent scientist on New year’s eve stuck in a supermarket under a jacket a bottle of champagne. Maybe a temporary clouding? In any case, the theft of a small, committed for the first time, and man, the very fact of detention — such stress and horror, that he, most likely, will never cross the line of the law. For the offence are rarely planted in jail, but the conviction remained. What does this mean? Problems with employment, visas, etc., etc. And criminal misconduct, as it was assumed in advance, — does not entail a criminal conviction.

Quoting the document, approved on Tuesday by the plenary: “the minor Offense for which this Code prescribes a penalty of deprivation of liberty as a criminal offence”. Criminal offense also will be characterized by a shortened (one year) Statute of limitations for prosecution.

Quite without punishment those who commit a misdemeanor, will remain. The criminal code will provide for them a fine. In some cases it may be obligatory or corrective works.

Also details the cases when has committed an offense is not an adult and a minor. Here is a different approach from the sun: the teenager, imposing compulsory measures of educational influence. This can be a warning, transfer under supervision of parents or specialized state body, the obligation to mitigate the inflicted damage, restriction of leisure and establishment of special requirements to behavior of the juvenile.

It is curious that the Supreme court does not exclude in the future under the concept of criminal misconduct will be subject to more offences (up to 100).

Legal experts in the majority for the introduction of corner offense. But there are those who criticize it:

— I think that we need to finalize the bill, — says head of chair of criminal procedure, justice and prosecutorial supervision of the law faculty of Moscow state University. University Professor Vitaly Golovko. — It can cause negative reactions with people. After talking about how to translate into the category of misconduct that, in the public mind is perceived as a serious crime. Well, for example, the same theft. Tell the person who was robbed that it’s not a crime — it is clearly not agree. Another point. What is the difference to the accused whether or not he had a criminal record, if they would give him 2-4 years of forced labor and sent to a detention centre?

However, none aimed at humanization of the initiative is not done at the time without criticism. With regard to possible imperfections in the individual language — here, the judges themselves say that there is still a lot of work to hone new practices.

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