The approaches to understanding the concept of procedural form and formalism in the criminal process are analyzed in the article. The necessity of a clear distinction criminal procedural form and formalism was substantiated in this work, based on the researches of the scientific positions of the law theoreticians. It’s imagined, that the procedural form shouldn’t be taken as absolute, that is, such that can not have any exceptions. Deviation from the provided by law procedural form, may take place on condition that this way will not be violated rights and legal interests of participants in criminal proceedings, if there are of appropriate grounds there. In some cases, this deviation may be fully acquitted and aimed at solving problems of the criminal proceedings. The author pays attention to the process of constant evolution of procedural form, it needs to be improved, introduced a new rules and institutions that are the most appropriate in terms of solving problems of criminal justice, protection of rights and legal interests of criminal procedural relations, interests of society and the state. In particular, to such improvements can be referred proceedings on the basis of agreements, shortened trial, the introduction of the written appeal proceedings, etc. The connection between formalism in right and formalism in the procedural activity was traced. Thus formalism in right acts as objective prerequisite of formalism lawyers. However, the latter is not only the result of overly formalized procedures for the exercise of criminal proceedings, as no less important for the professional lawyers is their personal attitude to the law and the process of its implementation. Priority role in this respect should play the rule of law, the securing of which in system of
criminal proceeding principles must change the approach lawyer to the problem of procedural form and procedural formalism, depriving the lawyer of legal formalism. The rule of law provides the opportunity to change the established approach in the law enforcement from the position exceptionally follow the letter of the law on the position of its application, considering its «spirit».
Keywords: procedural form, formalism, criminal proceeding, the rule of law