Self-Defense of the Rights and Freedoms of Personality in the Sphere of Criminal Law Relations

Smirnov A.M.

Dr. Sci. (Law), Associate Prof., Chief Researcher SIC-2, Research Institute, Federal Penitentiary Service; Department of Criminal Law Disciplines, International Law Institute, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250010299-1
ID of the Article:

For citation:

Smirnov A.M. Self-Defense of the Rights and Freedoms of Personality in the Sphere of Criminal Law Relations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 12. P. 98-104


The problem of ensuring the right of individual to self-defense of his rights and freedoms in the field of criminal law relations in Russia today is discussed. Forensic practice often demonstrates unfair criminal prosecution for those exercising self-defense. On the basis of a survey he organized, the author analyzes opinions of citizens (N = 1687) and specialists (N = 232) on how the right to selfdefense is enshrined at the legislative level. The results of the survey show that 67% of citizens do not exclude likelihood of arbitrarily punishing the offender, and this by any means, including, if necessary, criminal ones. Critically assessing the activities of the police and courts, citizens expect the state to expand legal conditions for the legitimacy of self-defense and mitigate penalties for violating these conditions. This is at odds with the opinion of experts, who most often deem it necessary to limit right of citizens to self-defense, while recognizing desirability to clarify existing restrictions.

self-defense; rights and freedoms of individual; lynching; law enforcement; sociology of law
Content No 12, 2020