Mistake of fact and endangering actions as circumstances which can affect differentiation of criminal responsibility for unfinished crime

Keywords: differentiation of criminal responsibility, mistake of fact, endangering crime


 Most of the aspects of differentiation of criminal responsibility for unfinished crime though being discussional, are duly researched in the criminal scientific studies. However, the sphere of unresearched institutes exists enabling us to speak about its influence on differentiation of criminal responsibility. This institutes are the mistake of fact and so called “delicts of endangering”

The purpose of this research is to analyze the differentiated influence on criminal responsibility of crimes committed with the feature of mistake of fact and of delicts of endangering. It is planned to illustrate, basing on certain examples, the importance of these institutes for differentiation of criminal responsibility. By the way, the task of this article is to reveal the shortcomings of criminal law in force and to make propositions on their removing.

Up to date, taking into consideration the provisions of part 3, 4 of Article 68 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the court can`t impose punishment on person, guilty of committing a crime under effect of mistake of fact, qualified as attempt, higher than 2/3 of the maximal severe punishment (envisaged in article of special part of the Criminal Code). The court, as well, can`t (in most cases) impose life imprisonment even when the damage totally equals the damage caused by finished crime. For instance, planning to kill with mercenary motives a minor, the guilty person kills an adult. This action can’t be qualified as finished crime, as the mistake of victim occurs. Nevertheless, object of human life is objectively damaged. So, the crucial necessity to make equal between each other finished crime and crime, committed under influence of mistake of fact, is evident.

Differentiating criminal responsibility in situations when damage is desired by the guilty person, the legislator in fact hasn’t bothered to duly differentiate criminal-legal consequences in case of endangering without the desire of such damage. That`s why it is of great importance to regulate by norms criminal actions which are endangering social relations with social dangerous damages, but don’t have the features of criminal aim, motive and desire of guilty person. This step can provide differentiated approach towards socially dangerous behavior, delimiting the estimation of act and consequence. It can concentrate the attention on subjective evaluation of potential consequences by guilty person, notwithstanding the factors, which often exist besides mental estimation of the subject.


Komarov O. D. (2014). Znachennia faktychnoi pomylky vynnoho pid chas pryznachennia pokarannia. Aktualni problemy derzhavy i prava: zb. nauk.pr. / redkol.: S. V. Kivalov (holov. red.), V. M. Dromin (zast. holov. red.), Yu. P. Alenin [ta in.]. Odesa: Yuryd. l-ra [in Ukrainian].
Navrotskyi V. O. (2006). Osnovy kryminalno-pravovoi kvalifikatsii: Navch. Posibnyk. Kyiv: Yurinkom Inter [in Ukrainian].
Komarov O. D. (2015). Faktychna pomylka v kryminalnomu pravi Ukrainy ta yii znachennia dlia kryminalnoi vidpovidalnosti : dys. … kand. yur. nauk. 12.00.08. Kharkiv [in Ukrainian].
Dudorov O. O. (2013). Poniattia zlochynu. Kvalifikatsiia zlochyniv. Visnyk Asotsiatsii kryminalnoho prava Ukrainy. 1. 86 [in Ukrainian].
Tykhyi V. P. Vidpovidalnist za zlochyny proty bezpeky liudyny. Novitni kryminalno-pravovi doslidzhennia: zb. nauk. pr. / vidp. red. O. V. Kozachenko. Mykolaiv: Ilion, 2016. S. 7 [in Ukrainian].
Lykhova S. Ya. (2012). Kryminalna vidpovidalnist za porushennia bezpeky liudyny za zakonodavstvom derzhav uchasnyts Yevropeiskoho Soiuzu. Kyiv: Redaktsiia zhurnalu "Pravo Ukrainy". [in Ukrainian].
Spurgeon А., Fagan T. (1981). Criminal Liability for Life-Endangering Corporate Conduct. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. 72. 407 [in English].
How to Cite
Antoniuk, N. (2020). Mistake of fact and endangering actions as circumstances which can affect differentiation of criminal responsibility for unfinished crime. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, (1), 286-290. https://doi.org/10.36695/2219-5521.1.2020.57
Criminal law and criminology