PROTOCOL FORM OF INQUIRY AS A POSSIBLE PROCEDURAL FORM OF PROCEEDINGS WHEN CONSIDERING CASES FALLING UNDER THE CATEGORY OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES
Draft amendments to the RF Criminal Code submitted to the RF State Duma and the suggestions to recognize minor crimes, not providing for the punishment in the form of imprisonment, as a criminal offense, raise a question in what procedural form the proceedings in criminal cases of the specified category will be conducted. The legislators imply that the inquiry in this category of cases can be carried out in the form of a simple or reduced inquiry. The use of a simple inquiry when investigating criminal cases of this category is in no doubt but the use of a reduced form of the inquiry on crimes recognized as a criminal offense is questionable.
The paper discusses the necessity to improve the pre-trial proceedings regarding the possible introduction of the concept of “criminal offense” into the Russian criminal legislation and qualification of crimes not posing a high risk to the public as the cases of specified category. The paper proves the necessity and social significance of introducing the protocol form of inquiry in the cases of minor crimes, which it would be advisable to qualify as a criminal offense, into the Russian criminal proceedings.
Referring to the history of Russian criminal procedural law and modern European law, the author proves the conclusion that the conduct of inquiry in cases not posing a high risk to the public in the protocol form is timely and appropriate, especially if the concept of “criminal offense” will be introduced into the criminal law. In this regard, it is necessary to validate the inquiry form formerly existed in the criminal procedure legislation of the RSFSR and the RF and existing in the European criminal procedure – a protocol form of investigative actions.