Article title On the Criminal Law Risks: An Overview of the Issue

Doctor of Law, Professor, Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, Honored Worker of Science and Technology of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine) ORCID ID: Researcher ID:


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 2/2020
Сторінки [97-118]

The issue of risks as a social phenomenon is nothing new for any State, society, science or area of practical activity. However, this issue has not received sufficient attention in national legal science, and in the context of criminal law doctrine it is still waiting for its researchers. Here, we do not take into account the works focused on a known circumstance which excludes the criminal nature of an act (article 42 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). Criminal law risks as the subject matter of the initiated research have multiple vectors and a different scale which necessitates a different content and level of cognition of risks as a systemic phenomenon in criminal law (legislation and doctrine), investigative and court practice. This article aims at forming a general idea of criminal law risks. The concept that any criminal law norm can exist at the level of legislation and law application is substantiated. It is expedient to single out criminal law risks in a broad and narrow sense. In a broad sense, there are risks: 1) both those generated by criminal law and those arising through legal regulation (or lack thereof), in particular, within criminal procedure, criminal executive and operative-investigative relationships (or vice versa – generated in particular by the adoption / repeal of, for example, criminal procedural or criminal executive law); it is also a matter of legal regulation, not necessarily by law, but also by other normative legal acts, sometimes – untimely adoption, or lack of attention or improper reaction of the subject of the rulemaking, in case of an obvious need to regulate certain social relationships; 2) risks arising in the field of legal practice – the application (or non-application) of rules, in particular, criminal law and criminal process, criminal executive law, administrative law and process, tax law, as well as in the field of operative-investigative activities.Risks in the narrow sense are those created solely by criminal law (related to its adoption, repeal, amendment), or (and) its application (non-application) in practice. The content of such risks does not cover the analysis and consideration of the impact, as a risk factor, of the relevant criminal law on the legal relationships mentioned above. Criminal law risks in a broad sense (if they, at least to some extent, are associated with relations under criminal law) are covered by other type of risks to a certain degree; their diversity reflects and elaborates the specifics with which criminal law risks are manifested. This refers, for example, to interpretative risks (legal, judicial, doctrinal), corruption risks, criminal procedure, criminalistic and correctional risks, as well as risks present in operational search and customs activities, and political risks. However, it should be borne in mind that all types of risks (including criminal law risks) do not exist in their pure form. Their independence is relative. Obviously, there are reasons to recognize global criminal law risks as a special type of risks in criminal law (and international criminal law risks may be distinguished next to them). According to the author, criminal law risks are a person’s perceived, in the face of uncertainty, the probability of danger (the occurrence of undesirable, in particular, socially dangerous consequences in the sphere of criminal relationships) in the case of making or refusal to make the appropriate decision to achieve a socially beneficial outcome. The article provides an illustration of a specific manifestation of criminal law risks at the legislative level, and outlines the perspective development of cognition of the issue of criminal law risks. KEYWORDS: risks; society of legal risks; legal risks; criminal law risks; criminal procedure risks; correctional risks; global criminal law risks.


Keywords misdemeanor; criminal offense; crime; procedure for pre-trial investigation of misdemeanors; procedure for trial of misdemeanors


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33. Djatlov Ju, ‘Pravorealizujushhij risk (problemy teorii i praktiki)’ [‘Law Implementation Risk (Issues of Theory and Practice)’] (avtoref dis kand jurid nauk, 2006) (in Russian).

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