Some remarks regarding Law no. 27 of 2012 on the amendment of the Criminal Code Cover Image
  • Price 1.00 €

Consideratii privind modificarea Codului penal prin Legea nr. 27/2012
Some remarks regarding Law no. 27 of 2012 on the amendment of the Criminal Code

Author(s): Florin Streteanu
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Universul Juridic
Keywords: Law no. 27 of 2012; statute of limitations; Criminal Code in force; new Criminal Code; murder; other intentional offences that led to the victim’s death; Constitutional issues; Article 15 paragraph 2 of the Constitution; law provides only for the futur

Summary/Abstract: Law no. 27 of 2012 brings some amendments in the field of statute of limitations, having effect both on the Criminal Code in force and the new Criminal Code. The aforementioned changes include: first, there are no more statute of limitations applicable to murder and other intentional offences that led to the victim’s death, as well as to the penalties already imposed for these crimes; secondly, an extension of the applicability of these new provisions to ongoing statute of limitations. Although changes from the first category are at the least inappropriate and without any reasonable justification, especially in relation to intentional offences that led to the victim’s death they are part of the decision making policy of the legislature. Therefore, we accept this, without further commentaries. On the other hand, the abolishment of any statute of limitations for offences committed prior to the entry into force of Law no. 27 of 2012 raises constitutional issues. It is more than difficult to try reconciling these new provisions with Article 15 paragraph 2 of the Constitution, which states that the law provides only for the future, with the sole exception of the more lenient Criminal and Contravention law. In our opinion, no constitutional provision or international regulation can justify such a solution. This is because, unlike the situation of the Belgian law (closely examined by the European Court of Human Rights in the Coëme v. Belgium judgment of 22 June 2000), in the Romanian Criminal law, since the interwar period, the statute of limitations was regarded as an institution belonging to the material law and not the procedural one. Therefore, the principle of the more lenient law is always applicable in the field of statute of limitations, and not the one of the immediate implementation of the new law principle. Even more, in the Romanian law, the prohibition of retroactive application of Criminal law derives not only from the Criminal law principle of legality, but also from Constitutional provisions. Article 15 paragraph 2 from the Constitution not only provides for the prohibition of retroactivity in the cases of new offences or new Criminal sanctions, but also elevates this to the level of a Constitutional principle with general application. Having this in mind, we consider the provision which abolishes the statute of limitations in cases of murder and other intentional offences that led to the victim’s death, committed before the entry into force of the law, to be contrary to the Constitution

  • Issue Year: VIII/2012
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 11-22
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Romanian