Komron Tursunmurodov

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The formation of the juvenile justice system and the codification of legislation on the rights of the child are one of the main goals of the Development Strategy. In this regard, this blog post provides recommendations for improving the criminal punishment system for minors. After conducting a thorough analysis of Uzbekistan’s criminal punishment system for minors, as well as those of Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, and the UK, in tandem with their relative criminal legislations, the following types of punishments were chosen as the subject to amendments: fines and mandatory community service. In examining the efficacy of fines within Uzbekistan’s juvenile criminal punishment system, it becomes apparent that they may fall short in achieving its primary objectives. Consequently, there is a growing call for the consideration of alternative measures, such as mandatory community service, by lawmakers. However, within the current framework of Uzbekistan’s criminal legislation, a contradiction arises concerning the duration of this alternative punishment, highlighting the need for legislative amendment and clarification.

Effectiveness of fines: analysis of national and foreign experience

Fines are set in the range from 2 to 20 BCAs (indicator determining the amount of taxes, fees, duties, fines, etc.), which is from 680.000 to 6.800.000 soums (approximately $54,08 – $540,83). Notably, most of the Uzbek juveniles are students who are not engaged in labor or business activities, making it nearly impossible for them to pay such fines. As a result, parents often become responsible for paying fines for crimes committed by their children.

In other words, the government is not punishing the guilty minors but their parents; hence, the aims of this punishment cannot be achieved. E.V. Nechayeva argues that by shifting the criminal punishment to the parents, the legislator violates the principle of culpable liability. According to this principle, a person is subject to liability only for those socially dangerous acts for which his guilt can be proven in the manner prescribed by law. In our case, minors are guilty, not their parents. 

Wealthy parents and those with sufficient income might afford the fines, unlike those who are not able to meet their family’s basic needs. Juvenile offenders from poor or troubled families may find solutions to paying penalties by committing another one. In V.I. Zubkova’s opinion, a fine can indeed be an effective measure of criminal legal impact concerning minors who have independent earnings or property subject to collection. However, since the vast majority of teenagers do not have stable income or property that can be subject to forfeiture, fines generally might be a less effective measure for minors.

According to the UK’s criminal punishment system, the fine should reflect the offense committed and the child or young person’s ability to pay. If the child or young person is not able to pay fines, either their parents or guardians are required to pay the fine. Russia’s criminal legislation also includes analogical norms which, in our opinion, cannot help juvenile criminals understand the essence of the crimes they committed as well as their detrimental consequences.

Interestingly, the Criminal Code of Kazakhstan states that a fine can be imposed on minors only if they have independent earnings and the caused harm can be applied to the penalty (Article 81). When establishing this unique norm, legislators in Kazakhstan took into account that not all minors have incomes or earnings, since most of them are primarily focused on their studies and are dependent on their parents’ support. Besides, prof. I. Sh. Borchashvili comments that the objectives of the criminal punishment system for juveniles were also considered, particularly the correction of the minor criminal while creating this exceptional rule.

Based on this, it is evident that fines may not be as effective as intended. For that reason, we recommend replacing fines with mandatory community services for juvenile offenders. This type of punishment is more beneficial for our society, since juvenile offenders will be involved in socially useful activities like street gardening, cleaning up garbage, taking care of homeless animals, etc. Furthermore, they might realize the mistakes they have made by understanding how useful they can be for their community because mandatory community service directly affects juvenile offenders than fines which made them consider their actions. S.Silberman notes that “community service can improve the offender’s ties with the community. It provides offenders an opportunity to repay their ‘debt to society,’ while instilling a sense of responsibility and pride in accomplishment that they may be unable to obtain elsewhere.” Therefore, the purposes of criminal punishment (correction of the offenders and prevention of their further criminal activity) can be accomplished.

In Germany, the concept of ‘works for society’s benefit’ is considered not as a punishment but as a compromise measure in the fight and prevention of juvenile delinquency. This means German courts try to free the child from criminal liability and use this type of so-called ‘compromise measures’ to reach the purposes of the country’s criminal justice system. Moreover, the Convention on the Rights of the Child obligates state parties to take into account the children’s assuming a constructive role in society when they are alleged as, accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law (Article 40).

The problem of the duration of mandatory community service

Legal analysis showed the contradiction between the Criminal Code and the Criminal Executive Code. The Criminal Code stipulates that the duration of mandatory community service by persons aged sixteen to eighteen years cannot exceed two hours a day for six months, and in the event of circumstances beyond the control of the convicted person, up to one year (Article 821). Based on the legal interpretation of this article, one should understand that by using “a day” a lawmaker means both weekdays and weekends.

However, the Criminal Executive Code establishes that the time of mandatory community service served by a convicted minor cannot exceed three hours on weekends or on days when the convicted person is not engaged in study or main work, and two hours on weekdays or days of training (classes), but not more three days a week (Article 256). By interpreting this article, we can see the different durations of the same punishment on weekdays and weekends.

The contradiction lies in the fact that only the Criminal Code can establish the duration of any punishment because Uzbekistan’s criminal legislation consists of solely the Criminal Code (Article 1). It means the Criminal Executive Code cannot contradict the Criminal Code on the grounds provided above.

It seems that this contradiction causes several problems for law enforcement bodies and the judiciary as they might get baffled when it comes to applying this punishment. To eliminate this contradiction, the legislator should amend the Art. 256 of the Criminal Executive Code. For example, instead of “three hours” the article should state “two hours” regardless of the type of day.

It is essential to emphasize that the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan sets forth that all contradictions and ambiguities that arise in the relationship between a person and state bodies should be interpreted in the person’s favor. However, legislators still must consider revising Article 821 of the Criminal Code and Article 256 of the Criminal Executive Code.


This blog post analyzed and compared the criminal punishment systems of Uzbekistan and other countries. The analysis showed that fines are not effective type of punishment in terms of achieving the primary goals of the criminal punishment system for juveniles since parents of minor criminals take the responsibility of paying fines for their children’s offenses, which violates the principle of culpable liability.

At the same time, mandatory community service is an efficient criminal measure because it directly affects juvenile offenders. It allows them to realize the “mistakes” they made and be useful for their communities. Hence, fines should be imposed only on minor offenders who are able to pay on their own, while mandatory community service should be applied to minors who cannot pay by themselves.

Moreover, the duration of the mandatory community service punishment should be similar in both the Criminal and Criminal Executive codes of Uzbekistan. This will help officers of law enforcement bodies and the judiciary to apply the norms of criminal legislation appropriately without misunderstandings and will ensure that juvenile offenders’ rights are guaranteed.

Cite as:  Komron Tursunmurodov, “Proposals regarding the development of the criminal punishment system for minors”, Uzbekistan Law Blog, 16.04.2024.