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Working paper

The concept of "ugolovnoe prestuplenie" (criminal offence) in the penal drafts of Catherine II

This article analyzes the history of the concept “ugolovnoe prestuplenie” (criminal offences) in the penal drafts of Catherine II as an integral part of the penal policy that transformed and modernized the Russian legal system. Based on published and unpublished legal sources, materials of the legislative commissions, and acts of civil and military legislation, the paper focuses on the new language of the law. New legal terms and concepts defined an individual as a legal entity and marked a shift in the relations between subjects and the state which in securing the personal safety and property rights of every citizen led toward the political liberty of a modern state.