Frantsiforov Y.V. Retrospective Analysis of Witnesses Participation in Criminal Trial

Frantsiforov Yuriy Viktorovich
Doctor of Juridical Sciences, Professor, Department of Criminal Procedure,
Saratov State Academy of Law
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Chernyshevskogo St., 104, 410056 Saratov, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article studies the historical parallels of development of one of the oldest institutes of domestic legal proceedings – procedural institute of witnesses. This institute became well known in legal science since the Cathedral Code of 1649, and gained further development in Compiled Laws of the Russian Empire of 1835. Later it was fixed in detail in the Charter of Criminal Trial of 1864 and fully revealed in the conditions of the new level of national legal culture in the Criminal Procedure Code of RSFSR in 1960. The 40 year long stability and invariance of the existing institute of witnesses was revealed in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation adopted in 2001 which included practically the same investigative actions carried out with the participation of witnesses.
The proposals of some researchers on the substitution of witnesses by technical means of fixing the course of investigative actions, are often rejected as the modern technical means give the chance for correcting video images, and thus modeling the events in favor or against the defendants at judicial sessions.
The institute of witnesses in criminal trial has full authority for existence in each criminal case. The need of involving the witnesses in investigative actions is peculiar for modern Russia at the condition of using the institute of witnesses in criminal trial with the guarantee of legality and authenticity of investigative actions, which would ensure their objectivity and reliability.

Key words: witness, procedural status, Compiled Laws of the Russian Empire, technical means, objectivity, reliability.

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