Certain Issues of the Feasibility of Using Sociolectisms of the Criminal Subculture in the Text of the Criminal Law

Keywords: criminal subculture, sociolectism, jargon, pseudo-laws of the criminal underworld


The article is devoted to certain issues of law-making in the context of the use of specific words and inverse words in the text of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The author notes that in today’s context, the norms of criminal subculture are extremely widespread. This process is objective, therefore, despite the negativity of the «pollution» of the business and literary Ukrainian language by the jargon of the criminal subculture, its distribution must be approached in a balanced and versatile manner. In this case, representatives of law enforcement and law enforcement agencies in the implementation of operational-search events and investigative events should understand the significance of jargon statements, which are common among professional criminals, because without this, they will not be able to carry out duties effectively. It is proposed to consider individual jargon statements as «sociolectisms», by which it is suggested to mean manifestations of a specific dialect common in certain social groups. Attention is focused on the fact that individual sociolectisms of the criminal subculture, somehow: «thief in law», «gathering», are not impossible to replace with analogues in the literary or business Ukrainian language, without a significant loss of their content. It is argued that the terms of the criminal subculture quite firmly entered the Russian spoken language, and, through it, into the Ukrainian, what can be judged, in particular, by the use of such terms in literary works that have already become classical, not only in post-Soviet countries, but also in world literature (in particular, O. Solzhenitsyn’s «Gulag Archipelago»). Based on this, it is concluded that it is possible to use individual sociolectisms of the criminal subculture including in the text of the law, subject to a number of requirements: 1) they must not violate generally accepted standards of decency (they cannot contain obscene and offensive vocabulary); 2) there are no analogues of such terms in the literary language, it is not possible to replace these sociolectisms without losing their content; 3) their application should be of social benefit, help accurately define crime, help in general in countering crime and certain types of crime.


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Criminal Law; Criminology; Criminal Executive Law