In the article on the basis of the latest amendments made to the Criminal Code of the
Russian Federation circumstances aggravating the punishment are investigated, attention
is drawn to some controversial legal and technical decisions in their formulation.
The criminal law on the strength of influence of certain circumstances on the chosen
punishment is clearly not enough, which does not contribute to enhancing the preventive
role of the law, the elimination of subjectivism and discord in practice. Most scientists and
practitioners support the idea of specifying, emphasizing that it will be easier to apply the
law, circumstances of the case will be visibly linked to the chosen measure of criminal law
impact, the importance of references in sentences to data on the case will increase, the
preventive role of criminal law will increase, the prerequisites for a uniform understanding
will be strengthened and application of the Criminal Code.
It was not by chance that in the Soviet period of development of the science of criminal
law, a tendency emerged to single out: a) main and b) other mitigating and aggravating
circumstances. Consequently it is necessary to take into account the whole range of
issues relating to the practical implementation of the idea of legislative specification of
the strength of influence of individual circumstances: the circle of circumstances, which it
may concern; the extent to which such circumstances influence the punishment (including
the expediency of specifying in the law how much the punishment increases or decreases,
or what is the upper or lower new limit within which the court selects the punishment taking
into account the “main” circumstance).
According to Part 2 of Art. 63 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation if the
aggravating circumstances are provided for by the relevant article of the Special Part as
a sign of a crime, it in itself cannot be re-taken into account when imposing a punishment.
In the criminal law doctrine an exhaustive (closed) list of aggravating circumstances has
not been approved by scientists, who believe that this method does not take into account
changes in the sphere of public life to a certain extent.
Professor at the Department of Social and Legal Disciplines of the Volga Institute for Advanced Studies of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, Dsc. in Law, Professor, Honored Lawyer of the Russian Federation, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation.
, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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