Rozhnov A.P. Does the Russian Law Need the Category of Public Danger?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lc.jvolsu.2017.3.6

Alexey P. Rozhnov, Candidate of Juridical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Law, Volgograd State University, Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Introduction: the article deals with the problem of whether the phenomenon of “crime” has the feature of public danger as its significant dominant, and also the presence of this feature in other (non-criminal) offences prohibited by the other (non-criminal) branches of the Russian law. The goals and objectives of the research are the analysis of the category of “public danger”, the disclosure of its social nature and legal gist. The research methods are the methods of scientific analysis which are traditional for the humanities. Results: the paper analyzes the opinions of the scientists proposing to abandon the use of the term “public danger”, as well as the opinions of those authors who deny the universal interdisciplinary nature of public danger, insisting on its specificity exclusively for crimes. It is emphasized that the possible elimination of “public danger” will dilute the criteria for criminal and non-criminal acts, will make the violence by the state in the field of response to law-violating behavior illegitimate and unjust. In turn, the assumption of lack of the feature of public danger in all offenses will dilute the unified social nature of this kind of human behavior and allow arbitrarily setting and applying sanctions of the public branches of the domestic law. Scope of application: this article is primarily intended for the use in the legislative activities and scientific work. It is concluded that public danger is expressed in violating or creating a danger of violating the values shared, protected and cultivated by the society. In this regard, public danger is both the dominant feature of a crime, its essential sign, and a universal cross-sectoral category because of its specificity for all types of infringing conduct.

Key words: public danger, crime, offense, criminalization of acts, social harm.

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