"The new Code seeks to update the one approved in 1987, which did not contemplate gender violence, environmental, cyber, and transnational crimes,” Supreme Court President Ruben Remigio pointed out.
The norm reinforces the rigor of sanctions in acts linked to economic and administrative corruption, with scope for new economic actors. It also incorporates new sanctions to address gender-based and family violence.
Unlike the previous legislation, the Code reserves the death penalty almost exclusively for murders and crimes against the State security. Life imprisonment and temporary deprivation of liberty for up to 30 years remain the most common penalties for serious criminal acts.
The Code introduces house detention and community services as new sanctions and maintains the requirement of criminal responsibility from 16 years of age, with differentiated treatment to those citizens between 16 and 18 years of age in compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
Besides establishing the responsibility of public officials or employees for speculation and hoarding crimes, the norm incorporates new sources of financing to the "Compensation Fund" so that compensation for damages to victims is more effective.
The Code text shall be reviewed by a style commission and enter into force 90 days after it is published in the National Official Gazette. The Parliament Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee President Jose Toledo urged magistrates and judges to study the code carefully to ensure the new sanctions’ effective execution.