Not all actions taken towards the commitment of a crime contain a sufficient degree of social danger to justify a reaction with the strong means of criminal law. But at what stage of crime does criminal liability begin? Preparation? Attempt? This article intends to determine the point at which a behaviour turns from being inoffensive into being socially dangerous in the history of Russian criminal law, assuming that the social and political changes Russia experienced within the past 150 years could not have been without impact on it. As a matter of fact, the determination of the aforementioned 'sufficient degree' of social danger widely depends on the aims a legislator strives for with its criminal laws. The more repressive the intent, the earlier liability begins. In criminal science objective and subjective approaches, as well as a set of unifying theories, intend to substantiate the minimal conditions of punishment for uncompleted crimes. Unlike the objective approach, requiring a real danger for the concrete object of crime, the more repressive subjective theory basically founds pre-completing liability on the pure intention of the subject of crime. Russian criminal law began considering the beginning of criminal responsibility in the mid 19th century. The first criminal code of 1845, mainly influenced by the objective approach, did not fit the stoutly repressive interests of the empire's regime. The 1864 modifications of the criminal code introduced a unifying approach, clearly dominated by subjective elements. Repression from then on would mainly depend on the criminal's view
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