A plea agreement is a modern form of securing the rights of participants in a criminal dispute to a settlement in the pre-trial stages of criminal proceedings and is a minor institution in the criminal procedure system. The author carries out the proposals further expand the scope of the institutions of conciliation in ensuring the rights and freedoms of participants in criminal proceedings, to take all necessary measures to restore the violated rights of the individual. Furthermore, the author made theoretical and legal conclusions.
Keywords: criminal disputes, criminal procedure, plea agreement, pre-trial stages of criminal proceedings, investigator, prosecutor, the agreement on confession, procedural conciliation.
There are such forms of proceedings in criminal proceedings in our country, the implementation of which serves to ensure the rights of participants in the criminal dispute settlement before the court.
Such areas of proceedings may include reconciliation proceedings, the application of an amnesty at the pre-trial stage, and a new institution — a plea agreement.
A plea agreement is a modern form of securing the rights of participants in a criminal dispute to a settlement in the pre-trial stages of criminal proceedings and is a minor institution in the criminal procedure system.
According to F. M. Muhitdinov: “...although the criminal process is considered as a whole system, but it consists of several separate, independent parts, ie subsystems of the criminal process. These systems, in turn, form a general system of criminal proceedings in a mutually compatible and integrated manner [1, p. 151].”
According to the author, the function of the system of the criminal procedure system: consists of relations regulating the multifaceted functions that arise, develop and terminate between citizens in the process of inquiry, investigation, prosecution and trial of criminal cases by prosecutors and judicial authorities, review of court decisions (judgments) in the supervisory stages. It is this continuous and ongoing relationship in the criminal process that forms a holistic system [2, p. 151]”.
Based on the above, they have a number of features, if we consider the views of the participants in the pre-trial stages on the provision of the right to a settlement in a criminal dispute, in particular, the views on the plea agreement.
According to K. F. Gutsenko, the system of criminal procedure is the actions taken in the framework of relations with the inquiry officer, investigator, prosecutor and other participants in the process of reviewing and resolving the confession agreement in a certain order and in full compliance with the established procedural form.. The most important aspect of this activity is that it consists not only of a set of ordered actions, but also a system of actions performed within a certain boundary and scope [3, p. 6].
According to B. A. Mirensky, the system of criminal proceedings related to the plea bargaining agreement is also reflected in the concept of its stages. In particular, he writes: “Criminal proceedings begin with the detection of a crime and develop in a sequence established by law and going through a series of stages. These stages form a logically coherent system that creates the conditions for the performance of the tasks of the criminal process [4 p. 7].”
It has its own content and procedural and legal responsibilities, as well as the participants in the relationship, which come in a certain sequence in the conduct of the conciliation conciliation process system; one of the authors who describes them as interdependent procedural parts — stages, which create the necessary procedural conditions for the implementation of the next. N. Shpilev, V. P. Bojev, A. R. Mixaylenko, K. F. Gutsenko, I. L. Petruxin et al.
In particular, I. L. Petrukhin noted that the system of conciliation stages in the confession of guilt in criminal proceedings is a guarantee of the truth of the case, a means of detecting and eliminating investigative and judicial errors. At the same time, this system is a guarantee of the rights and interests of the accused and other persons involved in the criminal proceedings, as it allows them to appeal to the prosecutor or the court against the decisions made at an earlier stage [5, p. 12].
However, the emergence, development and termination of criminal-procedural relations in «stages» is only a vertical basis for the system of conciliation confessions.
In works devoted to theoretical methodology, one can see considerable unanimity in the agreement on the confession of guilt, on the concept of the system of ensuring the rights of the parties to the dispute. According to the definitions developed in them, a system is a holistic object consisting of interconnected and interconnected elements [6, с. 110]. We know that a plea agreement is entered into between the prosecutor and the suspect or accused at any stage of the criminal proceedings and in other cases provided by law.
That is, according to Article 586 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the plea agreement does not pose a significant social risk to the prosecutor who supervises the criminal proceedings against the suspect or accused at the request of the suspect or accused. It is an agreement on less serious and serious crimes.
Chapter 62 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on «Confession of guilt» was introduced in accordance with the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. LRU-675 of February 18, 2021, and the terms of the confession are set out in Article 5861 of this Code .
Also, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan was supplemented by Article 57, which stipulates that the term and amount of punishment for crimes for which a plea agreement has been concluded shall not exceed half of the maximum penalty provided for in the relevant article of the Special Part of the Criminal Code.
According to J. Tashniyozov and S. Mahmudov, this norm is a legal incentive for a person to plead guilty to a crime, to expose crimes, to compensate for the damage caused by the crime, and to assist the investigative body in restoring the violated rights of citizens .
Pursuant to Part 2 of Article 586 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the agreement on confession in criminal proceedings contains the grounds and conditions. According to Article 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code, a defense attorney must be present in cases where a plea agreement has been reached.
In this category of cases, the presence of a defense counsel is mandatory, and the defendant's waiver of a defense counsel is not mandatory for the court. If the court upholds the motion to dismiss the defense counsel, the case may not be heard separately.
It has been widely recognized in our country for many years that there is no reason to narrow the scope of the subject of confession, to reduce the number of preliminary investigations and trials. According to Article 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the circumstances established by the testimony of the suspect and the accused must be examined and evaluated in the same way as other evidence in connection with all the circumstances of the case, whether the accused pleads guilty or denies his guilt . That is, the confession is not a criterion for limiting the subject matter of the case. This is of course related to the magnitude of the risk of misjudging the confession. However, the current introduction of modern procedural rules, the experience of foreign countries shows that this institution is effective.
In addition, the prosecutor also participates in the plea bargain as a participant in the criminal proceedings.
In particular, after a petition for a plea agreement under Article 5862 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a petition for a plea agreement under Article 5863 of the CPC is considered by the prosecutor. In this case, the petition for a plea agreement shall be submitted to the inquiry officer or investigator conducting the criminal case.
The inquiry officer shall, within 24 hours from the date of receipt by the investigator of the motion to enter into a plea agreement, send the criminal case to the procurator for resolution of the issue of conciliation.
The prosecutor shall consider the petition for the conclusion of the agreement within seventy-two hours from the moment of its receipt in the presence of the inquiry officer or investigator and the suspect, accused, his defense counsel and verify compliance with the requirements of Article 586 1 of the CPC. If necessary, the prosecutor will also engage the victim or civil plaintiff to consider the issue of a settlement. The prosecutor decides to enter into a plea agreement.
The refusal by the prosecutor of a motion to enter into a plea agreement shall not deprive the suspect, accused and his defense counsel of the right to file a repeated motion on the matter.
It can be concluded that in the pre-trial stages, the provision of the rights of the participants in the proceedings to reach an agreement on a criminal dispute has the following specific features:
first, the possibility of further expanding the scope of the institutions of conciliation in ensuring the rights and freedoms of participants in criminal proceedings, to take all necessary measures to restore the violated rights of the individual;
secondly, to put an end to the practice of degrading treatment and punishment, to release a person from responsibility for sincere repentance, cooperation and assistance in the detection of crime;
third, to ensure the priority of the principle of the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings, aimed at introducing the principle of humanity in criminal procedure through the implementation of international standards in national legislation to ensure the rights and freedoms of the individual in pre-trial proceedings;
fourth, the introduction of elements of procedural agreement into national legislation that would allow criminal offenders to be fully or partially exempted from criminal liability would eliminate new conflict situations that may arise between citizens.
In conclusion, the institution of procedural conciliation (confession agreement) included in our national legislation does not force the parties to reach a mutual agreement, and even in the absence of an agreement to ensure the inevitability of liability for the crime by simplifying the criminal proceedings without saving the rights of participants.
- Criminal procedure of the Republic of Uzbekistan: Textbook / B. A. Mirenskiy, A. H. Rahmonqulov, J. Kamalxodjaev, V. V. Qodirova. –T.: Academy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 2004. –B. 7.
- Criminal Procedure Law of the Russian Federation. Textbook. — 2nd ed., Revised and added. / L. N. Bashkatov and others; otv.ed. I. L. Petrukhin. –M.: Prospect, 2009. –S.11–12.
- Pozharsky D. V. Protective function of the state: issues of consistency // State and law, 2012, no. — S. 110.
- National Database of Legislation, 18.02.2021, No. 03/21/675/0126.
- C.Tashniyozov, S.Mahmudov Agreement on confession // https://huquq.uz/2021/03/12/pr-142/
- Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. https://lex.uz/docs/111460.