Criteria for the classification of punishments

  • M.R. Mergel
Keywords: punishment; types of punishments; system of punishments; classification of punishments; criteria for classification of punishments


The scientific article presents an analysis of the criteria established in the current legislation of Ukraine and existing in the legal literature for distinguishing certain types of punishments.
It has been established that the types of punishments provided for in the criminal law are fixed not in a chaotic order, but depending on the degree of their severity, and thus constitute a system of punishments. In addition, the criminal legislation deals with basic and additional punishments. So, punishments are divided into those that can be applied: 1) only as main ones; 2) only as additional; 3) as main and as additional.
The following criteria for the division of punishments are distinguished, on the basis of which it is permissible to allocate separate groups of punishments: by term: 1) term; 2) indefinite and 3) one-moment or one-act, without defining the term; in relation to isolation from society: 1) associated with isolation from society and 2) not associated with isolation from society; according to the subject to which they apply: 1) general and 2) special, etc.
Particular attention is focused on the classification of punishments according to the nature of the rights restrictions that the convicted person experiences as a result of their application. According to this criterion, punishment is divided into the following groups: those that exert moral and psychological influence; those that limit work capacity; those that limit ownership; those that limit personal freedom.
The article emphasizes that it is permissible to classify punishments according to such criteria as: depending on the admissibility of their application to minors; depending on the possibility of applying parole from serving them; in connection with the punishment with or without the use of forced labor of the convicted person; according to the degree of strictness of regime restrictions; considering the possibility of replacing punishment with other types of punishment. It was concluded that the list of criteria outlined above for the classification of punishments is endowed with a non-exhaustive nature and can be expanded. At the same time, it is emphasized that different classification criteria play different legal roles (meanings) in the mechanism of combating crime (criminal-legal, criminal-executive, criminological), which once again testifies to the multifaceted nature of the institution of punishment