The article discusses the history of the development in Russian criminal law of one
of the significant elements of the offense – the «subject of the crime», its mandatory
features, as well as the concept of «crime».
An analysis of the development of Russian criminal legislation allows us to conclude
that the formation and improvement of the concepts of crime and the characteristics of
the subject of crime occurs depending on the characteristics of the development of the
state. The concept of crime first appeared in the 18th century, and finally formed at the
beginning of the 20th century, after which it did not undergo significant changes.
Determining the age of criminal responsibility is a rather complicated problem that
was solved differently in different historical periods. The fundamentals of the criminal
legislation of the USSR and Union Republics of 1958 established the provision on criminal
liability from 16 years of age, and for certain types of crimes from 14 years of age, which
was reflected in the Criminal Code of the RSFSR in 1960 and the Criminal Code of 1996.
Further changes only concerned expanding and clarifying the list of crimes for which
criminal liability has occurred since 14 years.
Despite the fact that sanity is one of the essential features of the subject of a crime,
the definition of this concept has not been enshrined in Russian law. In criminal law the
opposite term is used – insanity. It should be noted that the Criminal Code of 1996, unlike
the previous legislation, contains a more detailed and improved formulation of the concept
Senior Researcher of the Research Department of the
Vologda Institute of Law and Economics of the Federal Penal Service of Russia,
PhD. in Law
, e-mail email@example.com
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