Effectiveness of criminal law in time
Within the framework of legal information, the Human Rights Ombudsman explains the effectiveness of criminal law in time.
In accordance with Clause 1 of Article 9 of the DPR Criminal Code, criminality and punishability of an act are determined by the criminal law in force at the time of the act’s commission. The time of the commission of a crime is the time of the commission of a socially dangerous action (inaction), regardless of the time of the imposing consequences.
That is, the act (action or inaction) is regarded as criminal in accordance with the criminal law in force at the time of the crime’s commission. In turn, criminal responsibility is imposed on the guilty person in accordance with the criminal law norms, which have legal force at the time of the crime, regardless of its further consequences.
Thus, a person cannot be subjected to measures of criminal law for an act that at the time of its commission was not criminal according to the Criminal Code of the DPR, but was subsequently criminalized.
Meanwhile, the “retroactive application of criminal law” is envisaged.
Clauses 1, 2 of Article 10 of the DPR Criminal Code states that a criminal law that eliminates the criminality of an act, mitigates punishment or otherwise improves the position of a person who has committed a crime, has retroactive effect, that is, applies to persons who committed the relevant acts before the passage into law. Criminal law that increases punishment or otherwise aggravates a person’s position is not retroactive.
If the new criminal law mitigates the punishment for an act that is being served by a person, then this punishment is subject to reduction within the limits introduced by the new criminal law.
It follows from the above that the norms of the criminal legislation in no way worsen the legal position of the person subjected to criminal prosecution, but, on the contrary, facilitate the application of a punishment that is sufficient to correct the offender.