Introduction: the article is devoted to fundamental problems of criminal law, namely the legal and doctrinal definition of its institutions, such as a subject of regulation, objectives, principles, punishment, its goals, sanctions. Purpose: based on the study of the legal nature, social conditionality, and achievability of these institutions the author tries to identify problems of their conceptual compliance with the modern criminal policy of Russia. Methods: the research is based on a dialectical approach to the study of social processes and phenomena. It used methods traditional for criminal law and criminology sciences, such as analysis and synthesis, comparative legal, retrospective, formal legal, and logical methods. Private scientific methods were also used: the legal-dogmatic one and the method of interpretation of legal norms. Results: the author concludes that the time has come to change the conceptual foundations, Russian criminal law is based on. Without downplaying the importance of criminal legal means, it should be emphasized that their effectiveness is largely due to its combination with the crime prevention system, as well as the implementation of social, economic, and political measures that contribute to reducing the influence of criminogenic factors. It is noted that the presentation of the main provisions of criminal law is flawed: the subject of criminal law regulation is narrowed; formulation of tasks and functions of criminal law do not correlate with each other; criminal law principles lack clarity and consistency; the goals of crime correction and prevention contradict to each other; the consistency principle is violated and a single doctrinally developed legal and technical methodology is absent in the punishment system. Therefore, the model of criminal punishment needs a serious revision, especially in the teleological aspect. Conclusions: as a result of the conducted research, the need for legislative reform of the main institutions of criminal law is justified, since the effectiveness of judicial and penal enforcement activities, the validity of financial costs depend on it. At the present stage, Russian criminal legislation needs conceptual reform in terms of bringing it into line with the requirements of consistency, provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, international obligations of the Russian Federation, social expectations, as well as modern and predictable criminal trends and challenges.
Keywords: Subject, tasks, principles of criminal law; probation; punishment; goals; sanctions; effectiveness; restoration of social justice; crime prevention; general and special prevention; correction of convicts; criminal law policy; conceptual foundations.
Chief Researcher, Doctor of Sciences (Law), Professor, Research Institute of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, Moscow, Russian Federation.
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