The struggle of law enforcement and judicial bodies of the modern rule of law, as well as the entire society with the manifestations of crime is necessarily connected with the need for an in-depth study of crimes (hereinafter referred to as criminal offences), their essence, the structure of the constituent system elements, forms of external manifestation, which is a prerequisite for the development of the latest effective means of countering criminal offences. Among these issues, the object of a criminal offence is of particular importance, as it has a significant impact on the determination of the social characteristics of the offence and largely determines its actual objective and subjective characteristics. Meanwhile, there is no unity among scientists in the interpretation of the object of offence. The problem has therefore not yet been sufficiently studied. The purpose of the study is a scientific analysis of modern views on the object of a criminal offence and the establishment of a scientifically based content and essence of this concept. To achieve this goal, the following methods were used: dialectical, historical and legal, dogmatic, comparative, system-structural, legal hermeneutics. The article analysed the existing scientific approaches (positions) regarding the definition of the object of a criminal offense, which were systematised and reduced to two generalised groups: 1) ontological, which includes positions that recognise the object of a crime (criminal offence) as protected by criminal law public relations in various modifications; 2) axiological, which includes the interpretation of the object as values and related definitions: benefits, and individual interests. The authors made a reasoned conclusion that the object of a criminal offence is social relations that arise and exist in society about its social values, which are protected by the law on criminal liability.
Keywords: object (subject) of public relations, criminal offence, values, ontology, axiology.