Insanity - Commentary on the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation


1. A person who, while committing a socially dangerous act, was not liable to criminal liability, that is, he could not realize the actual nature and social danger of his actions (inaction) or manage them because of a chronic mental disorder, temporary mental disorder, dementia, or other painful condition mentality.

2. A person who commits a socially dangerous act envisaged by a criminal law in a state of insanity, the court may be assigned compulsory measures of a medical nature provided for by this Code.

1. The Criminal Code does not contain a definition of sanity. The ability of the crime subject to realize the factual side and social significance of his deed, as well as the ability to guide his behavior (which is the responsibility) logically, with the definition of these concepts by the excluded third method, are assumed, if there are no signs (criteria) of insanity that are exhaustively listed in the commented article.

The state of insanity is determined by the simultaneous presence of two criteria: medical (biological, psychiatric) and legal (psychological). The first criterion assumes that the person has a morbid state of mind. In the commented article four types of this condition are named: chronic mental disorder; temporary mental disorder; dementia; another morbid state of mind. These four categories cover all the well-known medical disorders of the psyche. To establish a medical criterion, one of these types of mental disorder is sufficient.

From the content of the medical criterion it follows that non-useless disorders of mental activity (for example, affect) do not exclude responsibility.

2. The legal (psychological) criterion of insanity means that, due to the morbid state of the psyche, the subject could not realize the actual nature and social danger of his actions (inaction) or manage them; Only under this condition a person is deemed insane. This criterion is of an evaluative nature, related to the activity of the law enforcer. With certain mental illnesses, a person within certain limits can critically treat his actions, but is not in a position to manage them. Therefore, the psychological criterion of insanity is the inability of the person to realize the significance of his actions (the intellectual criterion) and the inability to manage them (the willful criterion). These signs in the article are divided by the union "or", which emphasizes their independent meaning.

3. The law of insanity, as before, relates to the fact of committing a socially dangerous act, therefore it is determined, is estimated at the time of the commission of the crime. No one can be deemed insane at all, without regard to a particular deed. First, the course of chronic mental illness allows for the possibility of improving the condition (remission). Secondly, for some types of mental disorders, for example, in oligophrenia, a person can be aware of the actual side and socially dangerous nature of some of his actions (such as causing harm to health, murder) and not realize the public danger of other actions affecting more complex social relations violation of the rules ensuring the safe operation of transport, arbitrariness, etc.).

4. In case of doubt, the designation and production of a forensic psychiatric examination (Article 196, 283 of the Code of Criminal Procedure) is mandatory for the suspected, accused or defendant's sanity. Despite the clinical basis of the state of insanity, in general this concept refers to the number of legal: the definition of the state of insanity falls within the competence of law enforcement agencies, and is finally established in the final decision of the court in the case (see article 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). Expert judgments and conclusions on matters within the exclusive competence of the body (person) leading the proceedings in the case are not allowed.

In paragraph 7 of the Resolution of the Plenum of the US Armed Forces of 07.04.2011 № 6 noted that the issues related to the mental state of the person in respect of whom proceedings are being conducted on the application of compulsory measures of a medical nature are subject to thorough investigation and assessment by the court.


5. A person who commits a socially dangerous act in a state of insanity is not subject to criminal liability, since he is not a subject of crime. Such a person may be appointed in accordance with Part 2 of the article to be commented on by the FMMC provided for in the criminal law. On PMMH, see the comment. to art. 97 - 103.

6. In accordance with Part 1 of Art. 81 of the Criminal Code, a person who after the commission of a crime has suffered a mental disorder that deprives him of the opportunity to realize the actual nature and the public danger of his actions or to direct them is released from punishment, but not from criminal liability. Such a person, as provided for in Part 4 of Art. 81 of the Criminal Code, in case of recovery may be subject to criminal liability and punishment, if the statute of limitations provided for in Art. 78 and 83 of the Criminal Code.

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