Objective Criminal Liability

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Objective Criminal Liability


in bourgeois law, making a person criminally accountable for causing social harm without establishing guilt. It signifies the application of punishment for actions and their consequences in cases where the person being held accountable did not or could not have foreseen the consequences.

In contemporary bourgeois theory of criminal law the concept of the dangerous state of the personality is often used instead of the concept of guilt. Criminal liability is thus based not on the accused’s guilt, but rather on the subjective attitude of the judge toward the accused and what he has done. This approach gives the court unlimited possibilities for arbitrary actions.

Soviet criminal law rejects objective criminal liability and is based on the principle of liability only where there is individual guilt. Only a person who is guilty of committing a crime, that is, a person who has either deliberately or from negligence committed a socially dangerous act under criminal law, is subject to punishment.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.