Corpus Delicti and the Subject of Proof: to the Discussion of the Relationship Between the Concepts

Svetlana Kornakova, Ekaterina Zavgorodnevа
2021 Всероссийский криминологический журнал  
The authors analyze the opinions of scholars about the correlations between the categories «corpus delicti» and «subject of proof». The main object of their criticism is the idea, supported by some scholars, that the elements of corpus delicti equal the circumstances to be proven that are included in the key fact. The authors use the logical criterion to demonstrate that this claim is unsubstantiated. The circumstances stated in Clauses 1 and 2, Part 1, Art. 73 of the Criminal Procedure Code of
more » ... the Russian Federation characterize the key features of corpus delicti only conditionally. In this connection, the key fact is the aggregate of factual circumstances that constitutes the basis of corpus delicti. In the logical aspect, the qualification of a crime is a syllogistic inference, according to which, if the essential features of the action under investigation coincide with the features of the concept of a specific crime as described in criminal law, then this crime becomes the concept of this action. According to the authors, from this standpoint it is possible to discuss not the equivalence of circumstances to be proven and corpus delicti, but only the equivalence of their essential features as determined by criminal law. They point out the specific character of criminal law and process terminology that also does not make it possible to equate the categories «corpus delicti» and «subject of proof». The significance of the existence of a formulated subject of proof in criminal procedure law and its interconnection with corpus delicti is demonstrated. It is concluded that proof in a criminal case is based on certain knowledge, which performs a methodological function. In this connection, the subject of proof, in the gnoseological sense, is a program of criminal procedure activities determined by the lawmaker. The norms of criminal law determined the parameters of criminal procedure proving, so the subject of proof is based on the criminal law characteristic of the action but does not equal it. The circumstances of the case, determined in the process of proving, are correlated with the norms of criminal law with the purpose of possible criminal law qualification of the action. Corpus delicti, determined in the criminal law, and the subject of proof, formulated in the criminal procedure law, ensure strict certainly and specification of the process of proving carried out by the preliminary investigation bodies and the court.
doi:10.17150/2500-4255.2021.15(4).495-501 fatcat:hv5tnn3j6vfuhd5tynotozg364