Eng Cn Translate this page:
Please select your language to translate the article


You can just close the window to don't translate
Library
Your profile

Back to contents

Police activity
Reference:

On the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the criminal procedural definition of "close relatives" in the regulation of legal relations in the Russian Federation related to the investigation of domestic crimes

Bulbacheva Anna Aleksandrovna

PhD in Law

Senior Researcher at the Department of Planning and Control over Scientific Research of the Scientific and Research Center of the Academy of Management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation

125171, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Zoi I Aleksandra, , 8

anit-b@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 
Kotyazhov Andrei Valer'evich

PhD in Law

Associate Professor of the Department of Criminal Law Disciplines of the Moscow State University named after K.G. Razumovsky (PKU)

109004, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Zemlyanoi Val, 73

amonitor69@mail.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.7256/2454-0692.2022.4.37672

EDN:

WNUVXQ

Received:

12-03-2022


Published:

03-09-2022


Abstract: The article is devoted to the problem of legal definition of the concepts of close relatives, close persons and family members of a citizen. Inconsistencies between the norms of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the norms of family legislation in relation to the criminal procedural category "close relatives", which ensures the provision of witness immunity in criminal proceedings. It discusses controversial issues about the circle of close relatives who have the right not to testify as witnesses. The essence of this socio-legal status is revealed, the circle of persons forming it is established, the positive and negative sides of the existing definitions and formulations of "close relatives" are considered.The scientific novelty lies, first of all, in the fact that in the presented article the norms of criminal procedure, civil and family law regulating relations of kinship, matrimony, as well as the procedure and problems of their application in criminal proceedings were considered. Paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation refers to spouses as close relatives, but Article 14 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation does not consider them as such. The analysis of family law allows us to conclude that kinship is possible only by "blood" (the exception is the institution of adoption). For this reason, spouses cannot be close relatives and they are in a marital relationship to each other. The proposals on amendments and additions to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation are formulated, which will improve the domestic criminal procedure legislation within the framework of developing a unified approach to the content of the definition of "close relatives".


Keywords:

close relatives, marriage, presumption of innocence, witness immunity, family legal relations, family, cohabitation, husband, spouse, family member

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

The unity of the domestic legal system is the main condition for the observance of constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens.

In the system of legislation of the Russian Federation, codified acts, in particular: the Family Code of the Russian Federation [1]. and the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation [2]. They are federal laws, i.e. elements of the legal system that have less legal force in relation to the Constitution of the Russian Federation [3]. and federal constitutional laws.

The Russian criminal procedure, according to its purpose (Article 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation), has a clearly expressed human rights essence, and its core is the norms-principles of criminal procedure law (Articles 7-12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation), corresponding to constitutional norms (Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation).

At the same time, the criminal procedure norm fixed in paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, regarding the attribution to close relatives of a spouse, spouse, adoptive parents and adopted children, contradicts the content of the first part of Article 51 of the Constitution. This circumstance introduces inconsistency into the legal system and is the cause of defects in law enforcement.

At the same time, the list of "close relatives" established by the Family Code in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation is interpreted specifically. The evaluative nature of many provisions of the criminal procedure law, taking into account the relationship of kinship, matrimony and properties, allows for their arbitrary interpretation, which does not always correspond to the true intention of the legislator. The content of interpersonal relationships in this area is also not clearly defined.

In this context, we should agree with A.S. Dezhnev that "The lax, sometimes incorrect use in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation of the borrowed concepts of "relative", "close persons" practically does not limit the discretion of the law enforcement officer in their interpretation. There are problems with determining the list of persons covered by these concepts, although its correct establishment depends, firstly, on the endowment of citizens with appropriate powers and the degree of participation in legal proceedings, and secondly, the exercise of rights and obligations by criminal prosecution authorities" [4].

Investigation and judicial review of a criminal case, including crimes in the family and household sphere, is often associated with the emergence in the criminal process, along with criminal law and criminal procedure, civil and family legal relations (For example, a civil claim A civil claim can be filed only after the initiation of a criminal case (adjudication of the relevant resolution) and until the end of the judicial investigation during the trial of this case in the court of first instance (part 2 of Article 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation)).

As the investigative and operational practice shows, the structure of violent crime in the family and household sphere is dominated by intentional infliction of serious harm to health (21.1%), murder (5.8%), causing minor harm to health, beatings and the threat of murder (54.8%). Of the total number of crimes registered in the field of domestic crimes, 80.8% are crimes committed on the basis of a quarrel, and only 2.9% are due to jealousy. More than half (53%) of crimes were committed with the use of weapons, ammunition, special means, household items. In a special row, it is necessary to single out crimes that are related to violence committed against women and children, who make up 73% of all victims of violent assaults [5]. In 2021, 313 murders and attempted murders remained unsolved, 463 facts of intentional infliction of serious harm to health, due to the failure to identify the person to be brought as an accused [6]. In our opinion, this is often associated with the exercise of the right to witness immunity (In accordance with paragraph 40 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, witness immunity is the right of a person not to testify against himself and his close relatives, as well as in other cases provided for by this Code.), including in criminal cases of familydomestic and other violent crimes, witnessed by the spouse, spouse, parents, children and other close relatives of the suspect or accused [7].

The object of our research is legal relations arising in criminal proceedings in connection with the implementation of part one of Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, the subject is activities aimed at the realization of the constitutional right to witness immunity.

The historical analysis of the criminal procedure legislation of the Soviet period allows us to conclude that its dominant focus is on the protection of public interests, with weak protection of individual rights related to witness immunity. For example, only in Article 65 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR (1922) and Article 61 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR (1923) was an indication fixed on the circle of persons who could not be interrogated as witnesses. These included the defenders of the accused in the case and persons who, due to their physical and mental disabilities, are not able to correctly perceive phenomena of significance in the case and give correct testimony about them. At the same time, in the future, the legislator abolished the "privilege of silence", public interests became the main focus of protection. The main essence of the directions of the criminal policy of the Soviet state was its unilateral exclusive focus on serving and expressing the interests of the state, as a rule, to the detriment of the interests of the individual [8].

The Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR of 1960, like its predecessors, has also been repeatedly amended and supplemented during its existence. In total, more than a thousand amendments and additions have been made to the Code over the years of its existence, but the provisions regulating witness immunity have not been fixed.

On December 26, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist.

On January 22, 1992, in the conditions of a deep political crisis and confrontation in the highest echelons of power, the Decree of the Supreme Council of the Russian Federation approved the Provision on the constitutional commission established to draft a new Constitution of the Russian Federation. In the same year, two working groups were created to improve criminal procedure legislation: one under the State Legal Department under the President of the Russian Federation, the other under the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation. It was assumed that each of these groups, acting independently, on the basis of a creative competition, would develop its own version of the draft of the new CPC, the best of which would be presented to the legislator.

In our opinion, such parallel work in the conditions of almost simultaneous submission and discussion by the legislator of a number of draft laws, ultimately, could cause a discrepancy in the content of constitutional and criminal procedural norms on the regulation of witness immunity.

Today, the legal definition of "close relatives", in these legal acts, is given different content.

According to the first part of Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which establishes the right of witness immunity: "No one is obliged to testify against himself, his spouse and close relatives, whose circle is determined by federal law."

Thus, spouses (husband and wife) are normatively removed from the category of close relatives.

A similar approach is enshrined in Article 14 "Circumstances preventing marriage" of the Family Code, based on the content of which "close relatives" include:

1) relatives in the direct ascending and descending line (parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren),

2) full and incomplete (brothers and sisters who have a common father or mother).

A different approach is used in the corresponding norm of the Criminal Procedure Code. So, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, "close relatives" are a spouse, spouse, parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren.

Thus, the introduction of spouses into the content of the definition of "close relatives" does not comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and, in our opinion, is unjustified in the context of solving the tasks of criminal proceedings.

In this regard, the results of the survey of practitioners are indicative: 63% of them experience difficulties in applying procedural norms that take into account the circumstances of people's intra-family life. In modern conditions of increasing requirements for the accurate and uniform application of the law and increasing standards of proof, this circumstance cannot but be alarming" [6].

Investigative practice shows that spouses, their parents, children and other close relatives are often involved in the sphere of criminal proceedings in connection with the investigation of criminal cases of domestic crimes.

The bulk of such crimes (up to 80%) is violent. So, about 80% of murders and inflictions of various harm to health, about 70% of hooliganism and death threats are of a domestic nature, for other crimes these figures are slightly lower.

In our opinion, friendly and neighborly relations cannot be fully attributed to domestic ones. The latter arise in the form of everyday non-productive relationships between people about meeting their primary needs (food, clothing, housing, health maintenance, child care).Today, domestic relations are realized precisely within the family and are associated with the fulfillment of the duties assigned to parents or other persons (adoptive parents, trustees, guardians, guardianship and guardianship authorities) for the upbringing of minors.

Family and domestic crimes can be defined as socially dangerous acts committed on the grounds of envy, revenge, jealousy of the guilty person associated with the victim by family or other related communication.

The signs of domestic crimes include the following:

- the crime scene in the vast majority of cases is an apartment, a house, an entrance, a yard;

- marital or family relations between the perpetrator and his victim;

- the presence of a family and domestic conflict;

- violent nature of crimes;

- the commission of the majority of socially dangerous acts in a state of intoxication (alcoholic or narcotic);

- extensive use of weapons and items used as weapons;

- situational nature and high latency of such crimes.

Depending on the type of conflict between the offender and the victim, the following types of domestic crimes can be distinguished:

1. Crime as a result of a long or acute conflict initiated by the criminal;

2. Crime as a result of the conflict behavior of the victim;

3. Crime as a result of immoral behavior of the criminal and the victim;

4. Crime as a result of the guilty person resolving an intrapersonal conflict (divorce, loss of work, loss of a loved one) in a socially dangerous way.

During the preliminary investigation of a criminal case on a domestic and family crime, the right of everyone not to testify against himself is by virtue of being directly effective and must be ensured by a law enforcement officer on the basis of the requirement of direct effect of constitutional norms enshrined in Part 1 of Article 15 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

Therefore, the relevant officials of the bodies carrying out criminal prosecution are obliged to explain to the person suspected or accused of a crime his right to refuse to testify and to provide other evidence about the committed act, without exerting pressure or coercion on him in order to obtain evidence confirming the accusation.

At the same time, the consolidation in the Constitution of the Russian Federation of the right not to testify against oneself does not exclude the possibility of carrying out - regardless of whether the suspect or the accused agrees to it or not - various procedural actions with his participation (inspection of the scene, identification, obtaining samples for comparative research), as well as the use of documents, items of clothing samples of biological tissues, etc. in order to obtain evidence in a criminal case.

Such actions subject to compliance with the procedure established by the Criminal Procedure Law and subsequent judicial review and evaluation of the evidence obtained - cannot be regarded as an unacceptable restriction guaranteed by Article 51 (Part 1) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The exemption of a person from the obligation to give evidence that could worsen the situation of himself or his close relatives, i.e. granting this person witness immunity, means the inadmissibility of any form of coercion to testify against himself or his relatives. This right must be ensured at any stage of criminal proceedings and assumes that a person can refuse not only to testify, but also to provide other evidence confirming his guilt in committing a crime. The prohibition to oblige a person with witness immunity to testify about the circumstances of the case does not exclude, however, his right to provide relevant information if he agrees to it [9].

Granting a citizen the right to present evidence in his defense against suspicion or accusation of committing a crime does not mean that it can be implemented by illegal, including criminal, means. The accused has the right, for the purposes of his defense, either to remain silent, or to give evidence in such a way as not to obviously violate the rights of other persons, not to resort to methods of defense prohibited by law.

The constitutional provision of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, according to which no one is obliged to testify against himself, his spouse and close relatives, whose circle is determined by federal law, must be explained not only to the defendant, but also to his spouse or close relative before questioning this person as a witness or victim; otherwise, the testimony of such persons must be recognized by the court obtained in violation of the law and cannot be evidence of the guilt of the accused (suspect).

The right (not to testify against oneself) is closely related to the concepts of fair judicial procedure, the presumption of innocence and the rules that follow from them on placing the burden of proof on the prosecutor and the absence of the obligation of the accused to prove his innocence in an offense.

This right presupposes the possibility of a person's refusal from the obligation to give evidence that may contribute to bringing him to criminal responsibility.

Despite the fact that in the civil aspect of the spouses in relation to each other, they are heirs of the first stage (Article 1142 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation "Heirs of the first stage".), from the side of biological science, husband and wife are also not close relatives, otherwise their children could inherit genetically determined diseases. Therefore, marriage between close relatives is legally prohibited (Article 14 of the Family Code).

Another problem that requires, in our opinion, the most careful consideration is the relationship between the "spouses" living in a so-called civil marriage. Today, a significant part of the population prefers this form of living together. Thus, according to VTSIOM, every tenth Russian prefers to live in a civil marriage without official registration of the relationship. The most supporters of this form of family life turned out to be among young people and respondents under the age of 34 (16% each) [10]. Often such relationships are fully correlated with family ones: running a common household, having children together, mutual care, etc. At the same time, such a union of a man and a woman is not recognized and is not protected by the state due to the absence of a sign of its state registration. Consequently, a significant part of citizens are deprived of the right to witness immunity when involved in criminal proceedings.

The consolidation directly in the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation of certain concepts arising from kinship, marital or proper relations would allow to unify the practice of applying such norms and avoid numerous mistakes. Therefore, we consider it appropriate to propose the following:

1. Amend the fourth paragraph of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation by excluding the words "spouse" and "spouse" from it and state it in the following wording "4) close relatives - parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, siblings, grandfather, grandmother, grandchildren;".

2. Add Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation with the following norm: "53.1.1) spouses are a man and a woman who have accepted the marriage bond and registered their relationship with the civil registration authorities.

In the interests of achieving the goal of criminal proceedings, persons who are in a civil marriage also have witness immunity;".

3. The concept of close persons, enshrined in paragraph 3 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, should be formulated as follows: "close persons are spouses and relatives, as well as other persons in whose welfare they are interested: the suspect, the accused, the witness, whose welfare is dear to the victim, the witness due to the established personal relationships."

We believe that the introduction of the above amendments and additions will bring the norms of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation in line with the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

References
1. The Family Code of the Russian Federation of December 29, 1995 N 223-FZ (as amended on July 2, 2013) // Collection of Legislation of the Russian Federation. - 01.01.1996. - 1. - Art. 16.
2. Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation dated December 18, 2001 No. 174-FZ (as amended on July 23, 2013) // Collected Legislation of the Russian Federation. - 24.12.2001. - No. 52 (part I). Art. 4921.
3. The Constitution (Basic Law) of the RSFSR. Adopted by the V All-Russian Congress of Soviets in a meeting of July 10, 1918 // SU RSFSR. - 1918. - No. 51. - St. 582.
4. Dezhnev, A.S. (2002). Relations of kinship, matrimony and property in the criminal process: dis. cand. legal Sciences. Omsk Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.: (219 p.) Omsk.
5. Zolotukhin, S. N. (2019). Criminal violence in the sphere of family and domestic relations. S. N. Zolotukhin. A. Miller Library (196 p.). Chelyabinsk
6. The state of crime in Russia for January-December 2021 (2021.) / Collection / FKU GIAC of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. (p. 30.) Moscow.
7. Ivasyuk, O. N. (2015.) Criminological features of domestic crimes. O. N. IVASYUK. Bulletin of the Moscow University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. No. 7. (P. 153-156.) Moscow.
8. Volosova, N. Yu. (2009). The history of the development and legislative formation of the institution of witness immunity in the Russian criminal procedure legislation. N. Yu. Volosova // Bulletin of the Orenburg State University. No. 3(97). (P. 36-39.) Orenburg.
9. Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation dated April 4, 2013 No. 661-/2013 // ATP Consultant Plus (date of access: 07/10/2022).
10. VTsIOM found out how many Russians live in an unregistered marriage // interfax.rurussia (date of access: 07/10/2022).

First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article On the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the definition of "close relatives" in the regulation of criminal procedural legal relations refers to the content of the materials of the article as a whole. The author did not specify in the title of the article: "in Russia." The title of the article conditionally looks at the scientific problem, which the author's research is aimed at solving. The reviewed article is of relative scientific interest. The author did not explain the choice of the research topic and did not justify its relevance. The article does not formulate the purpose of the study, does not specify the object and subject of the study, the methods used by the author. In the reviewer's opinion, the main elements of the "program" of the study were not fully thought out by the author, which affected its results. The author did not present the results of the analysis of the historiography of the problem and did not formulate the novelty of the undertaken research, which is a significant disadvantage of the article. There is no appeal to opponents in the article. The author selectively relied on sources and current scientific works on the research topic. There is an acute shortage of references to sources and scientific literature in the article (there are 3 sources in the list, 1 monograph). In the opinion of the reviewer, the author sought to use sources competently, maintain a scientific style of presentation, competently use methods of scientific knowledge, observe the principles of logic, systematicity and consistency of presentation of the material. Instead of an introduction, the author offered the reader an incorrect definition of the term "legal system" (of the Russian Federation): "the most complex set of norms included in the structure of the Constitution," etc. Then the author banally stated that "The Constitution of the Russian Federation has the highest legal force, direct effect and is applied throughout the territory of the Russian Federation," and summarized that "this It is also directly related to the regulation of witness immunity as the most important means of exercising the right to defense in criminal proceedings," etc. In the main part of the article, the author reported that "the consolidation in the Constitution of the Russian Federation of the right not to testify against oneself does not exclude the possibility of carrying out ... various procedural actions with his participation," etc., and that "such actions ... cannot be regarded as an unacceptable restriction" of rights, etc. The author explained that "the release of a person from the obligation to give testimony that could worsen the situation of himself or his close relatives ... means the inadmissibility of any form of coercion to testify against himself or his loved ones," etc. Then the author banally stated that "in the system of legislation of the Russian Federation, codified acts ... represent federal laws i.e. elements of the legal system that have less legal force in relation to to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and federal constitutional laws," and suddenly reported that "the concept of "close relatives" is interpreted in these legal acts in different ways." The author drew attention to the fact that "spouses (husband and wife) are normatively excluded from the category of close relatives" in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and reported that "a similar approach is enshrined in Article 14 of the Family Code. The author then pointed out that "a different approach is used in the relevant norm of the Criminal Procedure Code", concluding that "the introduction of spouses into the content of the definition of "close relatives" does not comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation" and "unjustifiably in the context of solving the tasks of criminal proceedings", etc. At the end of the main part of the article, the author reported that "a significant part of citizens are deprived of the right to witness immunity when involved in criminal proceedings", since "in the so-called civil marriage" "the union of a man and a woman is not recognized and is not protected by the state due to the absence of a sign of its state registration." The article contains minor typos, such as: "excluding the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation from it", "in the system of legislation of the Russian Federation, codified acts", "persons located", etc., unsuccessful or incorrect expressions, such as: "In accordance with part 1 of Article 15 of the Basic Law, the Constitution of the Russian Federation has the highest legal force, direct effect and is applied throughout the territory of the Russian Federation", "cannot be regarded as an unacceptable restriction guaranteed by Article 51 (Part 1) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation", "Constitutional provision of the Constitution of the Russian Federation", etc. The author's conclusions are generalizing, justified only in part, formulated clearly. The conclusions allow us to evaluate the scientific achievements of the author in the framework of his research in part. In the final paragraphs of the article, the author proposed the following wording of paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the CPC of the Russian Federation: "close relatives - parents, children, adoptive parents, adopted children, siblings, grandfather, grandmother, grandchildren", proposed "to supplement Article 5 of the CPC of the Russian Federation with the following norm"53.1.1) spouses are a man and a woman, those who have accepted the marriage bond and registered their relationship with the civil registry offices. In the interests of achieving the goal of criminal proceedings, persons who are in a civil marriage also have witness immunity." In the reviewer's opinion, the potential purpose of the study has been partially achieved by the author. The publication may arouse the interest of the magazine's audience. The article requires significant revision, first of all, in terms of formulating the key elements of the research program and their corresponding conclusions.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

A REVIEW of an article on the topic "On the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the criminal procedural definition of "close relatives" in regulating legal relations in the Russian Federation related to the investigation of domestic crimes." The subject of the study. The article proposed for review is devoted to the issues of "... the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the criminal procedural definition of "close relatives" in regulating legal relations in the Russian Federation related to the investigation of domestic crimes." The author has chosen a special subject of research: the proposed issues are investigated from the point of view of criminal procedure, family and constitutional law, while the author notes that "... the criminal procedure norm fixed in paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, in terms of attribution to close relatives of a spouse, spouse, adoptive parents and adopted children, contradicts the content of part the first article 51 of the Constitution. This circumstance introduces inconsistency into the legal system and is the cause of defects in law enforcement." Legislation is being studied - the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the CPC of the Russian Federation, the IC of the Russian Federation, as well as the definition of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, an article in the media relevant to the purpose of the study. A small amount of scientific literature on the stated issues is also studied and summarized, but not all of them are modern, analysis and discussion with opposing authors are present. At the same time, the author notes that "A historical analysis of the criminal procedure legislation of the Soviet period allows us to conclude that its dominant focus is on protecting public interests, with weak protection of individual rights related to witness immunity." Research methodology. The purpose of the study is determined by the title and content of the work "The object of our research is the legal relations arising in criminal proceedings in connection with the implementation of part one of Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and paragraph 4 of Article 5 of the CPC of the Russian Federation, the subject is activities aimed at the realization of the constitutional right to witness immunity." It can be designated as the consideration and resolution of certain problematic aspects related to the above-mentioned issues. Based on the set goals and objectives, the author has chosen a certain methodological basis for the study. In particular, the author uses a set of general scientific, special legal methods of cognition. In particular, the methods of analysis and synthesis made it possible to generalize various approaches to the proposed topic and influenced the author's conclusions. The most important role was played by special legal methods. In particular, the author used a formal legal method, which allowed for the analysis and interpretation of the norms of the current legislation of judicial acts. Thus, the methodology chosen by the author is not fully adequate to the purpose of the article, it allows you to study only certain aspects of the topic. The relevance of the stated issues is beyond doubt. This topic is one of the most important in Russia, from a legal point of view, the work proposed by the author can be considered relevant, namely, he notes that it is determined by "Fixing directly in the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation certain concepts arising from kinship, marital or proper relations, would allow to unify the practice of applying such norms and avoid numerous mistakes." Thus, scientific research in the proposed field is only to be welcomed. Scientific novelty. The scientific novelty of the proposed article is beyond doubt. It is expressed in the specific scientific conclusions of the author. Among them, for example, is this: "... the introduction of spouses into the content of the definition of "close relatives" does not comply with the Constitution of the Russian Federation and, in our opinion, is unjustified in the context of solving the tasks of criminal proceedings." As can be seen, these and other "theoretical" conclusions can be used in further scientific research. Thus, the materials of the article as presented may be of interest to the scientific community. Style, structure, content. The subject of the article corresponds to the specialization of the journal "Police Activity", as it is devoted to the issues of "... the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the criminal procedural definition of "close relatives" in regulating legal relations in the Russian Federation related to the investigation of domestic crimes." The article contains an analysis of the opponents' scientific works, therefore the author notes that a question close to this topic has already been raised and the author uses their materials in a limited volume and in a historical excursion, discusses with opponents. The content of the article corresponds to the title, since the author considered the stated problems and achieved the goal of his research. The quality of the presentation of the study and its results should be recognized as incomplete. The subject, tasks, methodology, results of legal research, and scientific novelty directly follow from the text of the article. The design of the work in many ways does not meet the requirements for this kind of work. Significant violations of these requirements: incorrect references to "alert" [3]; incorrect use of quotation marks "Hence, domestic crimes can be defined as socially dangerous acts committed based on envy, revenge, jealousy of the guilty person associated with the victim's family, other related communication", etc. Therefore, the author must eliminate this, or provide links to the materials used. Bibliography. The quality of the literature presented and used should not be appreciated very highly. The works of these authors correspond to the research topic, but do not always have a sign of sufficiency, Can "old materials" [9] contribute to the disclosure of all aspects of the topic? Appeal to opponents. The author conducted a serious analysis of the current state of the problem under study, but somewhat based on outdated material. The author describes different points of view on the problem, argues for a more correct position in his opinion, sometimes relying on the work of opponents, offers solutions to individual problems. Conclusions, the interest of the readership. The conclusions are logical, specific, and they are obtained using a generally accepted methodology. The article in this form may be of interest to the readership in terms of the systematic positions of the author in relation to the issues stated in the article, which should be typical for legal research. Based on the above, summing up all the positive and negative sides (comments) of the article, I recommend "sending it for revision".

Third Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the study. The subject of the research of the reviewed article "On the need to develop a unified approach to the content of the criminal procedural definition of "close relatives" in regulating legal relations in the Russian Federation related to the investigation of domestic crimes" are the norms of criminal and criminal procedural law defining different categories of citizens in marital and family relations, and determined by the norms of other branches of law, in particular family law. Research methodology. During the writing of the reviewed article, modern research methods, both general scientific and private, were used. The methodological apparatus consists of the following dialectical methods of scientific cognition: abstraction, induction, deduction, hypothesis, analogy, synthesis, historical, theoretical-prognostic, formal-legal, systemic-structural legal modeling, as well as the application of typology, classification, systematization and generalization. The use of modern methods made it possible to study the established approaches, views on the subject of the article, try to develop an author's position and argue it. The relevance of research. Undoubtedly, the topic of the reviewed article is very important and significant at the present stage. The lack of a uniform legislative approach to the definition of such legal categories as "family member" or "close relative" does not contribute to the effective legal regulation of public relations, which are the subject of different branches of law. Scientific novelty. It cannot be said that the topic of the reviewed article is absolutely new for the domestic legal science. The problem of the lack of official determination of legal categories, including such as "family member" or "close relative", has been raised repeatedly by specialists in various branches of law, since it has not only a theoretical aspect, but also creates certain difficulties in law enforcement. At the same time, the author has made an attempt to identify legislative gaps for the complexity of regulating criminal and criminal procedural public relations. Style, structure, content. In general, the work is written in an official style, using special legal terminology. The article is structured: an introductory part, which substantiates the research topic and shows its relevance; a substantive part, which sets out the author's position on the designated topic, with arguments with links to official sources and some opinions of specialist scientists investigating this issue; the final part, which presents the results of the research, conclusions and suggestions on improvement of legislation, in particular, amendments and additions to certain normative legal acts, namely the Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, in order to bring it into line with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The material as a whole is presented consistently, competently and clearly. In general, the content of the declared topic is disclosed. Bibliography. In the preparation of the article, the author used bibliographic sources, in our opinion, not enough. The article would certainly benefit if the author analyzed the points of view of specialists in such a branch of law as family law, who approach in great detail the consideration of all legal categories and concepts used in normative legal acts and judicial practice. In addition, there are no sources of recent years. We believe that this remark should be taken into account when finalizing the article. Appeal to opponents. The author has attempted a scientific discussion within the framework of his work. the discussion he has undertaken is conducted very correctly. However, as already noted, it is necessary to study the opinions of specialists in the field of family law who have been engaged and are engaged in studying the conceptual apparatus of family law. Conclusions, the interest of the readership. It can be concluded that the article submitted for review can be accepted for publication with the condition of its completion. Based on the actual topic of the article, it is of interest not only to specialists in the field of jurisprudence, but also to a wide range of readers.