Features of application of precautionary measures for persons suffering from mental disorders: national dimension

The paper investigates topical issues of application of precautionary measures against persons subject to criminal proceedings for the application of compulsory psychiatric care in the context of international standards and interpretative practice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyse the specific features of applying precautionary measures to a person suffering from a mental disorder based on the materials of generalization of domestic law enforcement practice in criminal proceedings regarding the application of compulsory psychiatric care. Research methods are selected with consideration of the purpose, objectives, and subject of research. General scientific and special methods of scientific cognition (dialectical, statistical, comparative law, analysis, synthesis, generalization) were used in the work. The integrated use of these methods has contributed to an objective and comprehensive scientific study. Based on the analysis of the current legislation and judicial practice, the specific features of application of preventive measures in criminal proceedings regarding compulsory psychiatric care are singled out, namely: a) they are applied to a person suffering from a mental disorder; b) are selected only in criminal proceedings concerning the application of compulsory psychiatric care; c) have a specific purpose conditioned by the presence of a mental disorder from which the person suffers. The specifics of the applying the measures envisaged by Art. 508 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as the CPC) allowed to question the legitimacy of the legislative approach as to their allocation to the institution of precautionary measures in criminal proceedings. In particular, it was concluded that in contrast to the general purpose of application of precautionary measures stipulated by Art. 177 of the CPC (concerning the suspect, the accused, the condemned), for the purpose of applying precautionary measures envisaged by Art. 508 of the CPC (concerning a person in respect of whom the application of compulsory psychiatric care is stipulated) are: 1) prevention of risks of their possible illegal behaviour; 2) provision of qualified psychiatric care to them; 3) ensuring the person's safety and the safety of others. In this regard, it should be noted that the position of the domestic legislator on the possibility of applying precautionary measures to persons suffering from mental disorders is subject to reasonable criticism of the legal community. The main argument in this debatable issue is that these persons cannot be subjects to which precautionary measures are applied, as the latter, according to the general rules, can be applied to clearly defined subjects of criminal proceedings – suspects, accused, and convicts

Doi: 10.37635/jnalsu.27(1).2020.147-161