Cuestiones Políticas Vol. 39, Nº 68 (Enero - Junio) 2021, 441-462 IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas - LUZ

The substrate of criminal-legal influence


Oleksandr Kozachenko * Oleksandr Sotula ** Vasyl Biblenko ***

Kostiantyn Giulyakov **** Oleksandr Bereznikov *****


The aim of the article is found on the idea of measure as a substrate of criminal-legal influence. The publication proposes to consider the measure as a substrate of external forms of legal influence and criminal-legal measure as a primary element of all external forms of criminal-legal influence (in connection with the commission of a criminal act). The analysis allows us to conclude that the substrate of legal influence is a basic element of socio-

legal regulation (which substantively combines a system of techniques and methods of influence used to obtain a positive and socially significant result). It should be understood that a criminal-legal measure is a system of techniques and methods of coercive and rehabilitation-encouraging influence of the state on criminal practices (criminal offenses, objectively illegal acts, abuse of law) and lawful post-criminal behavior, which is carried out by the law, determined by the socio-cultural environment. It is concluded that such ideas of Leonardo Polo as coexistence, the abandonment of mental limit, his thoughts on ethics, knowledge, and law can be applied successfully when the criminal-legal measure is characterized by several features that distinguish it from measures of the legal influence of another industry.

Keywords: sociocultural environment; substrate of criminal-legal influence; criminal-legal measure; coercive and incentive influence methods; judicial discretion.

as a substrate

The Ukrainian doctrine has studied in deep the characteristics of the criminal-legal measures, taking into account the Soviet doctrine. According to this doctrine, the following features are inherent for the criminal-legal measures.

Firstly, the criminal-legal measure is appointed and implemented exclusively by the state. This function lies in the state authorized bodies and officials. It is possible only on a normatively defined basis, which is expressed by law or judicial precedent. This feature is also present in the case of concluding a conciliation agreement, as such an agreement requires further approval by a court (Kozachenko, 2016). The main idea about this feature is that criminal-legal measure application is public in nature. Looking ahead, it should be noted that the last feature focuses on clear adherence to the procedure for applying criminal-legal measure.

Secondly, criminal-legal measures are subject to appointment only if the grounds provided by law are established. In turn, they have general and special features. For example, the general feature is committing a crime, and special is an abuse of rights, improper post-criminal behavior, etc. (Krizhanovsky, 2019).

Thirdly, the system of criminal-legal measures is formed on a cultural and ethical basis, which explains a certain variety of types of such measures in the criminal law of different countries (Musychenko and Kozachenko, 2015; Kozachenko, 2016). The implications of that were investigated in the first half of the article.

In addition to these properties, each criminal-legal measure is characterized by features that determine its structure. They can be divided into those that are objective and which are subjective (Kozachenko, 2016).

Basically, the objective features of criminal-legal measures have to do with their purpose. Generally, it occurs as social justice, something that Finnis (2011) described as “the fulfillment of all human persons in all societies” (2011: 451). Polo (2013) expands this consideration by the acceptance of the fact that law is justified by the need to entitle people, hence, it belongs to the moral order. In his opinion, that is why coercion is intrinsic to the law (Polo, 2013).

In this way, the enforcement of criminal-legal measures requires strict compliance with the rule of law, which is expressed in the correspondence between:

  1. socially dangerous acts and coercive measures.

  2. damages and restitution.

  3. positive post-criminal behavior (rehabilitation) and incentives.

  4. personal, community and state interests (Musychenko and

Kozachenko, 2015).

In addition, it must be noted that more than one major criminal-legal measure cannot be applied at once (Kozachenko, 2016). Although, some subsidiary measures, for example, confiscation (Yermak and Kuts, 2018) or certain activity ban, can occur.

Substantive features of a subjective nature have to do with individuals to whom the measures are applied (Yermak and Kuts, 2018). Noted, that the subjective composition of criminal-legal measures is characterized by the presence of either 1) general subject, which coincides with the characteristics of the subject of the crime, or 2) special subject, which represents its additional properties, or unique subject, that lacks certain features of the subject of the crime (Yermak and Kuts, 2018).

Finally, the subjective properties of criminal-legal measures are expressed in the procedural component, which ensures the application of a particular criminal-legal measure, taking into account the characteristics of both the act itself and the person who committed it (Yashchenkо, 2014; Krizhanovsky, 2019). That aspect is reflected in judicial discretion, that is, the activity of the judge as an arbiter (Kozachenko, 2016). According to Aquinas it is a matter of “reason,” but not any reason, but the reason in service to achieve the common good. According to Polo, discretion is possible because law is fiction, but fiction for the sake of the person and his coexistence on society.

All in all, the application of criminal-legal measures should be carried out responsibly in order to ensure the necessary and sufficient influence (Ponomarenko, 2020). In turn, its nature is determined by the inner convictions of the relevant procedural law, which is formed as a result of impartial, objective and fair establishment of all the circumstances (Kozachenko, 2011). Criminal-legal measures are a system of normatively defined measures of influence, and are focused on punishment, correction, prevention, re-education, medical care and treatment of persons, and criminal restitution. The basis for criminal-legal measures is considered to be the commission of an act crime and encroaches on the system of social values, which is formed based on the indisputable nature of the definition of natural human rights and freedoms and the changing nature, determined by the level of development of the nation and culture.


Hence, the discovery of correspondence between the philosophical heritage of Leonardo Polo and the theoretical implications of criminal law

grants access to the possibility of defining the criminal-legal measures as a substrate. In turn, its basic element should be considered as a humane characteristic. It permits us to study this issue in the field of transcendental anthropology, by means of which the role of man becomes equally significant to explore, likewise its coexistence in society, and with being. Additionally, it should be emphasized that Polo’s concepts of the abandonment of the mental limit and the coexistence are interconnected, and play a crucial role in the subject of our study. Thus, while abandoning the mental limit, one acquires transcendental freedom, which is coexistence, as only a free person can genuinely co-exist with others and with being. Thereof, Polo’s transcendental anthropology is an attempt to balance anthropology and metaphysics in such a way of putting a person on an equal footing with being, allowing humans to reach the level of personal existence.

Inasmuch as the essence of law deals with moral norms, the issue of criminal-legal influence arise inevitably. It is connected to ethics since obligations and prohibitions are concerned. That brings us to the legal awareness and legal culture, which constitute the internal structure of criminal-legal influence. Furthermore, its external action is expressed in the form of criminal-legal measures. Influence includes measures, but not reduced to them. The primary element of criminal-legal measures should be recognized as a legal measures of appropriate nature. That means the system of techniques and methods of coercive and rehabilitation criminal law practices of the state, which is carried out on the basis of the law determined by the cultural environment that has developed in the specific historical conditions of society.

It is concluded that a criminal-legal measure is characterized by several features that distinguish it from measures of legal influence used in other areas of both public and private law. The selected features of both objective (purpose, grounds) and subjective (the subject of application, judicial discretion) nature indicate the suitability of the proposed approach for the definition of criminal-legal measures with further use at the doctrinal, regulatory, and law enforcement levels.

At the same time, the proposed research supplements the basis for further investigation of both criminal-legal influence and criminal-legal measures in the area of transcendental anthropology and the philosophy of law, as well as for the practical application of its results.

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Vol.39 Nº 68

Esta revista fue editada en formato digital y publicada en enero de 2021, por el Fondo Editorial Serbiluz, Universidad del Zulia. Maracaibo-Venezuela