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Tougher Administrative and Criminal Liability Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

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In order to strengthen administrative and criminal liability, a number of articles of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation have been amended with regard to violation of established rules in the field of ensuring sanitary and epidemiological welfare of the public.

1. Administrative liability

Thus, Art. 6.3. of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation has been supplemented by part 2, which regulates administrative liability for violation of applicable sanitary rules committed in the event of a threat of spread of the disease, as well as during quarantine or as a result of failure to comply with an order from an authorised body.

Liability for such violations occurs in the form of a fine of:

  • 15 to 40 thousand rubles for citizens;
  • 50 to 150 thousand rubles for officials;
  • for legal entities – in the amount of 200 to 500 thousand rubles or in the form of administrative suspension of activity for up to 90 days.

In the event that the offences committed under the above part 2 of Art. 6.3. of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation caused personal injury or death, provided that there are no signs of a criminal offense, liability occurs in the form of a fine of:

  • 150 to 300 thousand rubles for citizens;
  • for officials – from 300 to 500 thousand rubles or disqualification for a period of 1 year to 3 years;
  • for legal entities – from 500 thousand to 1 million rubles or administrative suspension of activity for up to 90 days.

2. Criminal liability

In order to strengthen criminal liability for violation of sanitary and epidemiological rules, Art. 236 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation has been amended. So, the minimum liability under this article in the form of a fine increased from 80 to 500 thousand rubles.

Equal liability has been introduced for violation of sanitary-epidemiological rules, which, through negligence, led to mass infection or poisoning of people, and for violation, which only created a threat of such consequences. Liability in these cases occurs in the form of:

  • a fine in the amount of 500 to 700 thousand rubles, or in the amount of salary or other income for a period of 1 year to 1.5 years;
  • the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a period of 1 year to 3 years;
  • restriction of freedom for up to 2 years;
  • or community service or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

In the event that a violation of the sanitary-epidemiological rules caused the death of a person through negligence, it is proposed to impose a fine in the amount of 1 to 2 million rubles or in the amount of salary or other income for a period of 1 year to 3 years, restriction of freedom for a term of two to four years, community service or imprisonment for a period of 3 to 5 years.

If a criminal act caused the death of two or more persons through negligence, the draft law proposes to impose liability in the form of community service for a term of 4 to 5 years or imprisonment for a period of 5 to 7 years.

3. Our conclusions and recommendations

The introduction of the above liability measures was necessary due to the fact that violations of the regime increased the threat of a rapid growth of the number of cases and prolongation of quarantine, which, in turn, will complicate the process of subsequent economic recovery.

With a high degree of probability, during quarantine, citizens, officials and legal entities will be imposed maximum possible liability, in connection with which we recommend that you carefully read the amendments and avoid violations, carefully planning your activities and observing the established restrictions.

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