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Criminological Effectiveness of the Astrent as a Legal Incentive for Judgment Enforcement

Maryna Us1, Sergiy Glotov2 & Yuriy Nosik3


The enforcement of judicial decisions is a pivotal aspect of the criminal justice system. The institution of an astrent is recognized as a legal mechanism designed to motivate a debtor to comply with a judicial decision, thereby serving as a deterrent to non-compliance and as a reinforcement of the rule of law. This coercive tool, by imposing negative material consequences, is intended to ensure adherence to a verdict, which is essential for maintaining public trust in the justice system – a core criminological concern. Given the varying legal nature of the astrent across different jurisdictions, this study examines its potential introduction into Ukrainian law from a criminological perspective, analyzing its deterrent
capacity within the framework of criminal justice enforcement. The research outlines the similarities and distinctions between the astrent and other punitive measures, delving into its effectiveness as a defense method and its role in bolstering the execution of judgments. It highlights specific dispute categories within the criminal justice system where the astrent could significantly enhance compliance. Critical to the adaptation of this European legal construct to Ukrainian legislation, the paper scrutinizes several foundational issues that
necessitate resolution. Notably, the paper discusses the termination of the right to an astrent post-imposition, suggesting that the objective impossibility of fulfilling a judicial act – owing to circumstances emerging after the court’s decision and leading to the obligation’s termination as per Article 607 of the Civil Code – should be the sole ground for relieving a debtor from the astrent payment. The study’s alignment with criminological interests lies in its potential to shape debtor behavior, augment the effectiveness of legal sanctions, and provide empirical evidence for policy-making in the realm of crime management and enforcement
legislation. The implications for both national and international criminological scholarship are considered, with the article contributing to the ongoing discourse on the optimization of punitive measures within the justice system and their theoretical underpinnings.

Keywords: Astrent, debtor’s incentive to execute judgment, effectiveness of the method of defense, judgment enforcement, criminology, forfeit, legal deterrence, compliance, criminal justice system