Problematic issues of qualifying unlawful deprivation of liberty or abduction of a person

Keywords: crimes against the will, honor and dignity of a person; unlawful deprivation of liberty or kidnapping; self-serving motives; way dangerous to the life or health of the victim; causing physical suffering; grave consequences; criminal law qualification

Abstract

The article researches problematic issues of qualifying unlawful deprivation of liberty and abduction of a person (Article 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) based on examination of criminal law, the judicial practice and legal literature.

The numerous mistakes which occur in qualifying this crime were identified. In particular, quite typical are mistakes related to the delineation between unlawful deprivation of liberty or kidnapping and taking of hostages. The courts sometimes do not take into account the differences between the said encroachments lies mainly in the special purpose identified in part 1 of art. 147 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, as well as in the number of relevant addressees.

It has been established that most errors occur in qualifying the said crime in the presence of circumstances that aggravate criminal responsibility for its commitment. In particular, there is a very ambiguous practice of qualifying the said crime as such that are accompanied by causing physical suffering to a person. It is emphasized that when a victim of a said crime suffers from bodily injuries the said crimes shall be qualified for multiple crimes.

Some difficulties in investigational and judicial practice also happen in qualifying unlawful deprivation of liberty and abduction of a person committed in a way dangerous for a life or health of a victim. There is no clear understanding of this qualifying feature in the specialized literature. It was determined that under a way dangerous for life and health of a person we shall understand such a way of committing the said crime which creates real dander of death of a victim or causing him/her severe, medium severity or light bodily injury that causes short time health issues or moderate loss of working capabilities. Whether such injuries are caused needs additional qualification according to the articles that provide for responsibility for corresponding crimes against life and health of a person, or is covered by the notion of «grave consequences» and is qualified by the part 3 art. 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

The practice of the criminal law assessment of unlawful deprivation of liberty as such has been also very various during a long period of time. The courts virtually never indicate that by qualifying the said crime in this way they take into consideration not only the time during which a person was deprived of liberty but also consider the way and place where a person was held, other specific circumstance of a case, state of health, age etc.

It has been determined that as grave consequences caused by unlawful deprivation of liberty or abduction, the courts mostly take into account causing the death of a victim, willfully or carelessly.

It has been established that a part of analyzed mistakes is connected to deficiencies (mostly terminological) of the current edition of art. 146 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, however, most of them are caused by the insufficient professional level of investigators, prosecutors, and judges.

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Published
2019-11-18
How to Cite
Andrushko, A. (2019). Problematic issues of qualifying unlawful deprivation of liberty or abduction of a person. Law Review of Kyiv University of Law, (3), 211-219. https://doi.org/10.36695/2219-5521.3.2019.36
Section
Criminal law and criminology