Introduction: the article considers lawful and unlawful acts as major types of legal facts that influence the functioning of penal relations. In the theory of law, these legal phenomena have remained virtually outside the scope of scientific attention; such a situation is contrary to the needs of penal science and application practice. Aim: by analyzing lawful and unlawful acts, we seek to identify features, signs and internal content of these legal facts, to identify issues related to enacting the analyzed legal phenomena in the norms of law, and to determine ways to address these issues. Methods: comparative legal method, empirical methods of description and interpretation; theoretical methods of formal and dialectical logic, interpretation of legal norms. Results: the analysis of lawful acts allowed us to identify their features, internal content and recommendations for their consolidation. Having studied unlawful acts, we were able to consider the essence, types and features of objectively illegal acts committed by convicts. Conclusions: when studying lawful acts, we formulated a conclusion that the legislator should exclude lawful omission where it “intersects” with the obligation of the subject of penal legal relations to act (when the right of the subject is, in fact, their duty). The article summarizes, that the commission of an objectively illegal act by the convict should not be the basis for bringing them to liability. Legal facts that indicate a different (not objectively illegal) delinquent behavior of a convict, regardless of its type, should entail that the convict be held liable mandatorily. However, the legislator does not record these infringing legal facts in the chapters that regulate the execution and serving of sentences in the form of deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities, in the form of arrest and all types of punishments intended for military personnel; all this, we believe, significantly complicates the development of penal legal relations.
Keywords: legal facts; lawful acts; unlawful acts; penal legal relations; objectively illegal acts; unlawful omission; lawful omission
Candidate of Sciences (Law), Associate Professor, associate professor of the Department of Criminal Law Disciplines, Faculty of Law, University of FSIN Russia, Pushkin, Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation.
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