The principle of fairness of punishment

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Marysiuk K. «The principle of fairness of punishment.»

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Institute of Jurisprudence and Psychology

The principles of sentencing are a separate category of criminal law. Opinions of scholars on the definition of the principles of sentencing and their types differ. It is impossible to formulate a specific exhaustive list of types of such principles. There may be many. However, in the criminal law literature, all researchers of the problem of sentencing must include the principle of justice in the types of principles of sentencing.

As a measure of state coercion, punishment must meet certain requirements and be imposed in accordance with the relevant principles. It should not be cruel, it should be used only as a last resort to ensure the legality, it should be used only for the crime committed and meet other legal requirements and moral principles of society. The effectiveness and legality of sentencing, as an important element of the court's activities in criminal proceed-ings, depends on compliance of the relevant principles of its imposing. 

the principle of fairness of punishment is one of the most important starting points enshrined in the crimi-nal law, which requires ensuring the purpose of punishment by taking into account by the court all the circum-stances relating to the criminal offense and the perpetrator.

There is no doubt that in Ukraine the principle of justice in the judiciary and law in general occupies one of the most important place and is closely related to such categories as «rule of law», «equality of all before the law» and so on. It is a criterion for an honest decision of the case, an ideal to be pursued and guided by the law.

The principle of justice plays an important role in the legal regulation of various spheres of public rela-tions, but it is most closely related to the institution of sentencing.

The peculiarity of the principle of justice is that it is organically included in the content of all other princi-ples of sentencing – legality, humanism, equality before the law, responsibility for guilt, individualization and reduces them to a certain system. The question of the legal mechanism for the implementation of the principle of fair sentencing has been and continues to be in need of scientific research.

The implementation of the principle of justice in punishment must be manifested in the conformity of crime and punishment. Criminal law should reflect such compliance. In this case, the criminal law will be fair – and it depends on lawmaking, and the implementation of the principle of justice for the purpose of punishment depends on law enforcement. Failure to comply with the principle of justice in lawmaking entails its violation in the application of criminal law. However, the existence of a fair criminal law does not mean that the principle of fair sentencing will not be violated in the process of its application. This principle is most often violated in the law enforcement activities of state bodies and their officials.

In law enforcement, the principle of justice, first of all, is manifested in the optimal ratio of general and special criminal law. The person who committed the crime should be sentenced to ensure that the convict is corrected to prevent new crimes. Only in this case can the punishment be considered fair.

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