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DOI: 10.47026/2499-9636-2023-2-54-63

Avdeev V.A., Shumakova E.V.

Regulation of the principle of humanity in the criminal law and its  implementation at the law enforcement level

Keywords: criminal punishment, principles of the criminal law, the principle of humanity, humanity, respect for honor and dignity

The article deals with the topical issues of criminal sentencing in the context of implementing the principle of humanity, the problems of legislative regulation of this principle in the criminal law and ensuring human rights and freedoms, including personal freedom, personal inviolability and dignity of the individual in the mechanism of criminal law regulation. The purpose of the study is to reveal the concept of humanism as a principle of the law from the point of view of the strategic component in the development of legal policy, including the criminal law; to analyze comprehensively the legislative formula containing the definition of the principle of humanity, and the development of proposals for its actualization. Materials and methods. Implementation of the research goal was achieved with the help of general scientific (analysis, synthesis) and specific scientific (formal legal, comparative legal) methods. Results. The variety of approaches to the concept of "humanism" is analyzed, taking into account the accumulated knowledge in the field of social sciences, including legal sciences. The legal assessment of the legislative formula defining the principle within the framework of Article 7 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is given. It is noted that the result of implementing the humanistic principles in the criminal law is legislative consolidation in the criminal law of the system of punishments, types of punishments and other measures of a criminal legal nature that differ in alternativeness, as well as formation of sanctions of criminal law norms that enable the court to selectively implement the approach against the person who committed the crime. At the same time, the conclusion is formulated that there is a variety of forms of regulating the signs and properties of the principle of humanism in various norms of both General and Special parts of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. Conclusions. The above-stated makes it possible to suggest that the legislative formalization of the principle of humanity in the criminal law is aimed at implementing criminal liability measures to the extent that they provide criminal protection of the interests of a person, the society and the state. At this, the measures of legal influence provided for by the criminal law must contain permissible types of criminal punishment and other measures of a criminal-legal nature, as well as orient the law enforcement officer to establish a "minimum amount of punishment severity". At the same time, the principle of humanity in the criminal law presupposes using measures to the guilty person that are both humanistic and sufficient to achieve the purpose of the criminal law, i.e. to restore social justice, correct the convicted person and prevent crimes. In the face of new threats and challenges the legislative regulation of criminal liability requires a systematic modernization aimed at regulating the elements of crimes that pose increased danger and decriminalizing previously existing elements of crimes, taking into account the loss of their public danger. Consequently, introducing this category into the mechanism of criminal law regulation means the establishment in the law of criminal law protection of the entire "complex of rights and interests of the individual".


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About authors

Avdeev Vadim A.
Doctor of Law Sciences, Professor, Higher School of Law, Yugra State University, Russia, Khanty-Mansyisk (; ORCID:
Shumakova Ekaterina V.
Candidate of Law Sciences, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Criminal Procedure, East Siberian Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, Russia, Irkutsk (; ORCID:

Article link

Avdeev V.A., Shumakova E.V. Regulation of the principle of humanity in the criminal law and its  implementation at the law enforcement level [Electronic resource] // Oeconomia et Jus. – 2023. – №2. P. 54-63. – URL: DOI: 10.47026/2499-9636-2023-2-54-63.