of February 1, 2011 No. 1
About court practice of application of the legislation regulating features of criminal liability and punishment of minors
Having discussed results of generalization of court practice on criminal cases concerning minors, the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation notes that courts generally correctly apply the penal and criminal procedure legislation, the conventional principles and rules of international law, the international agreements of the Russian Federation by consideration of criminal cases and materials to the minors who committed crimes, providing protection of their rights and legitimate interests when implementing justice, and also realize other procedures provided by the law directed to the prevention of offenses among teenagers and increase in precautionary impact of legal procedures.
Due to the questions which arose at courts in case of application of the legislation, the conventional principles and rules of international law, international treaties of the Russian Federation the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, being guided by article 126 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, decides:
1. Draw the attention of courts to their procedural obligation of ensuring in reasonable time high-quality consideration of criminal cases about crimes of minors, meaning that their legal protection assumes need of identification of the circumstances connected with living conditions and education of each minor, state of his health, other actual data and also with the reasons of making of the penal acts, for the purpose of the resolution of lawful, reasonable and fair sentence, acceptance provided by the law of other measures for achievement of the maximum educational impact of legal procedure concerning minors (Articles 73, 421 Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation).
2. By consideration of criminal cases concerning minors courts along with observance of the penal and criminal procedure legislation of the Russian Federation should consider provisions of the Convention on human rights protection and fundamental freedoms (1950), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), United Nations standard minimum rules concerning administration of law concerning minors (The Beijing rules, 1985), the Milan action plan and the Guidelines in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of development and new international economic order (1985), the Guidelines of the United Nations for crime prevention among minors (The Ayr-Riyadsky guidelines, 1990). Also other official documents, for example Recommendations No. Rec are subject to accounting (2003) 20 Committees of Ministers of the Council of Europe to state members about new approaches to youthful crime and about value of justice for minors.
If the international treaty of the Russian Federation establishes other rules, than stipulated by the legislation the Russian Federation, courts according to requirements of part 3 of article 1 Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation should apply rules of the international treaty.
3. Justice concerning minor offenders shall be directed to that the corrective actions applied to them provided the most individual approach to research of circumstances of committed act and were commensurable both with features of their personality, and with circumstances of committed act, promoted the prevention of extremist illegal actions and crimes among minors, provided their resocialization, and also protection of legitimate interests of the victims.
4. Criminal cases concerning minors in courts of both the first, and second instances shall be considered by the most experienced judges.
For this purpose it is necessary to enhance constantly professional qualification of the judges considering cases on crimes of minors, to increase their personal liability for fulfillment of requirements of legality, justification, justice and motivation of the judgment.
Specialization of judges for minors provides need of ensuring their professional competence by training and retraining not only in points of law, but also concerning pedagogics, sociology, teenage psychology, criminology, viktimologiya, use of the juvenile technologies used within the procedural legislation. In this regard to recommend to courts to implement also modern techniques of individual scheduled maintenance with minor persons accused and defendants.
5. According to Articles 19, 20 Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Item of 1 part of 1 Article 421, article 73 Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation establishment of age of the minor is obligatory as its age is among the circumstances which are subject to proof is one of conditions of its criminal liability.
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