Юридические статьи

Евразийский юридический журнал


НАЗАРОВ Александр Дмитриевич
доктор юридических наук, доцент, заведующий кафедрой уголовного процесса и криминалистики Юридического института Сибирского федерального университета

КОСТЕНКО Дмитрий Сергеевич
магистр права, выпускник магистерской программы «Досудебное производство по уголовным делам» Юридического института Сибирского федерального университета

Правовая система Соединенных Штатов Америки характеризуется тем, что уголовное законодательство на федеральном уровне и уровне штатов может различаться. Однако, существуют и иные критерии стратификации права. Одним из таких является выделение юрисдикции коренных народов США, а также племенных судов. В статье рассмотрены некоторые особенности уголовного судопроизводства в таких судах, а также сделан вывод о необходимости дальнейшего изучения отличных от отечественной правовых систем.

Ключевые слова: коренные народы США, индейцы, племенные суды, племенная юрисдикция.

NAZAROV Aleksandr Dmitrievich
Ph D. in Law, associate professor, Head of Criminal process and criminalistics sub-faculty of the Institute of Law of the Siberian Federal University

KOSTENKO Dmitrii Sergeevich
master of law, postgraduate of master's program «Pre-trial criminal proceedings» of the Institute of Law of the Siberian Federal University


Judicial system of the United States of America provides that rules of criminal procedure can vary at the federal and states level. However, different forms of legal stratification have place to exist in the USA. One of these is providing a Native Americans jurisdiction and Tribal courts. The paper discovers particular features of criminal proceedings in such courts. The conclusion about the necessity of further need for research of different legal systems has been made.

Keywords: Native Americans, Indians, tribal courts, tribal jurisdiction.

The issue of social diversification never ceased to be relevant. It finds expression in many forms and discussions through the centuries of human relations and especially in contemporary scientific interactions. However, modern social and political agenda gives a new turn on consideration of this problem.

First half of the year 2020 disclosed a number of significant events that shows exacerbation of social tension of social groups, which considered worldwide as social, and ethno cultural minorities. In this regard, the «BLM» movement in the USA created one of the greatest public responses. This movement, according their program, focuses on issues concerning racial injustice, police brutality, economic injustice, access to quality education.

Despite the fact that the name of the movement includes the word «Black» and defines the exact racial group that need to be protected, basic principles of the movement refers to rejection of any injustice in relation to representatives of any race. In the same time, many cultural identities tend to be protected. One of these cultural groups is Native Americans. Remarkable that some representatives of Indians actively involved into the protest activity, because of their own experience of perception of racism.

Nevertheless, the main goal of this research is not to qualify political aspect of the issue, but to discover the discussion of specific features of Native American jurisdiction and place of their community in the judicial system of the USA. In this connection, peripheral question of the ways of dispensation of criminal tribal justice is better to start with the overview of the Indian country jurisdiction.

According to the United States federal law, term «Indian Country» means a (all) land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government. In a more simple form, Indian Country can be divided into a three categories: 1) reservations; 2) trust/restricted lands/allotments; 3) dependent Indian communities under federal supervision.

Thereby, tribes in a judicial form expressed as a specific autonomous legal subject that implemented into a judicial system of the United States. Thus, tribes have their own civil and criminal jurisdiction over their own members, wherein criminal jurisdiction diverse on the type and subject of criminal offence. Original system of tribal law was formed before the European contact with the Native Americans, when Natives were practiced various forms of meaningful and productive conflict and dispute resolution. Today tribal courts organized by the courts state location and their jurisdiction is based on Tribal Constitutions, Tribal Codes and Laws and Tribal case law, depending on availability.

Based on these legislative basis and federal legislation offenses statited in the Major Crimes Act (is the law that places certain crimes under federal jurisdiction if Native Americans in Native territory commit them) and against non-Indians are subject to federal and tribal jurisdiction. Crimes by non-Indians against Indian are under federal jurisdiction. In Oliphant v. Suquamish Tribe case U.S. Supreme Court held that Tribes have no criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians committing crimes within Indian Country. Another category spreads on crimes committed by non-Indian against non-Indian within Indian Country. Such cases are resolved under the State jurisdiction. In case United States v. McBratney (1882) U.S. Supreme Court held, that the state has exclusive jurisdiction in such cases.

As seen from the content of judicial acts and legislation, specific rules of implementing criminal law based not only on defining boundaries of territory of Native Americans, buy on the term «Indians» itself. However, for years federal courts have not restricted the term «Indian» was not restricted and included persons of Indian ancestry with substantial ties to Indian communities. The problem started with case Morton v. Mancari where the Court ruled that federal law did not give preferences to all Indians as a race, but only to members of Indian tribes with whom the federal government has official relationships. On that basis modern scientists and researchers of Indian law state, that the definition of Indians for the purposes of criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country should be construed to include enrolled (registered) members of Indians tribes.

For the purposes of legal proceedings and determining persons who can be qualified as an Indian Supreme Court of the United States created legal test also known as Rogers test. Test received its name from the Supreme Court decision of United States v. Rogers (1845). Rogers was a white man, that been accused of killing another person within Cherokee territory. Rogers referred to the fact that had become a Cherokee and federal government had no jurisdiction over him. The Supreme Court disagreed, stated that a white man that was adopted into an Indian tribe does not become an Indian. The only exception is person who belongs to the whole Indian race and speaks not from the position of a particular tribe but for the whole nation of Native Americans.

As a result the Court statured a four factor test to determine if the person should be recognized as an Indian. These factors are: 1) tribal enrollment; 2) government recognition; 3) enjoyment of the benefits of tribal affiliation; 4) social recognition as an Indian through residence and social life.

Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that standards of ethno cultural connection between a particular person and social group is more extensive than the standards of race and includes another aspects, including such as social affiliation to the ethnic group. The existence of autonomous judicial subjects within states based on a national principle is very unusual and extraordinary for the Russian judicial order. Nevertheless, it makes even more curious to study discrepancies and similarities in law, especially considering the multinational community of the population of both states.

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