The article analyzes the negative trends in the construction of criminal legislation,
examines the etymology of the term “differentiation”, outlines a range of related problems
(criminalization, legal technique, the mechanism of criminal law exposure), determines an
algorithm for a differentiated approach to restriction of law by the means of criminal law.
The current criminal law lacks conciseness, terminological uniqueness, conceptual
uniqueness and consistency. In this regard the priority tasks of criminal law research are
the specification of legislation, the interpretation of its meaning and the structuring of
It seems reasonable to conduct a meaningful analysis of criminal law, identify the
functional significance of the institutions it has established and establish the subordination
of the latter. One of the solutions of this problem may be the use of special technical
terminology (mechanism, differential, differentiation).
Differentiation in criminal law should be considered in the structure of the mechanism
of criminal law influence. The etymological analysis of this category allows us to conclude
the following: differentiation in criminal law is a division of the criminal law influence
(legal restrictions) into a separate, private, non-identical in its qualitative and quantitative
characteristics; the establishment of coercion under different conditions determined by
general legal principles (humanism, justice, the economy of repression, etc.).
The greatest difficulty in terms of establishing the correlation of legal means
of differentiating criminal law exposure is represented by the issues of delimiting
criminalization and qualification of crimes.
It seems that the significance of differentiating criminal law exposure goes beyond
the meaningful consequences of committing a socially dangerous act. Similar to the
mathematical differential the institutes are concretized, and the criminal law norms
are further improved, built in the order of interaction during the initial election and the
subsequent implementation of the criminal law influence.
A conditionally constant value for the differentiation of criminal law exposure can be
called the sanction of the article of the Special Part of the Criminal Code of the Russian
Federation, containing the typical amount of state coercion for the commission of a typical
socially dangerous act.
For a variable value increments or exclusions of legal restrictions that are used,
depending on certain conditions (legal facts) can be taken, which correct a typical criminal
legal effect when a court elects it.
Keywords: criminal law influence; criminal law mechanism; criminal liability; punishment; differentiation in criminal law
Professor of the Department of Criminal
Law and Criminology of the Law Faculty of the Vologda
Institute of Law and Economics of the Federal Penal Service
of Russia, Dsc. in Law, Professor
, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Prosecutor of the Department for Supervision
over Adherence to Laws of the Procurator’s Office in Moscow,
, e-mail email@example.com
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