Principles of Criminal Law

A basic summary of principles of criminal law

Hello. I will be posting several articles to review materials throughout this month, or at least I intend to. Remembering: these texts are lean, summarized and direct. That’s the point. I share it here for anyone who wants to review it, starting with the principles of Criminal Law.

principle of legality

This principle is provided for in art. 1 of the Penal Code and also in article 5 , XXXIX of the Constitution . It is a way of limiting the Criminal Law to act only within the law, within the positive norms. As a result of this understanding, we have the principle of precedence of the law . Criminal law can only retroact if it is to benefit the defendant, otherwise it cannot be applied to previous facts.

Principle of exclusive protection of legal interests

Criminal Law must protect the most relevant legal goods for life in society, without taking into account exclusively moral or ideological values.

Principle of minimal intervention

Criminal law should only be used if other branches of law are not sufficient. In other words, it’s the last option, to be used when absolutely necessary.

principle of offensiveness

There is no crime if there is no injury or real danger of injury to the legal good protected by Criminal Law.

Principle of agent’s personal responsibility

The agent who committed it is responsible for the conduct, being his personal responsibility, not being transferable to third parties. From here we can mention the principle of intranscendence , which is basically this: criminal responsibility does not pass to third parties.

principle of culpability

There must be willful misconduct or guilt in the agent’s conduct for him to be criminally liable. There will only be criminal responsibility if the agent is attributable, who is aware of the illegality.

Principle of social adequacy

Conducts historically accepted and considered appropriate by society in theory do not deserve punitive penal intervention, not being covered by criminal types.

Principle of insignificance or trifle

Only more relevant injuries should undergo penal intervention, taking into account more important legal interests. It should be analyzed whether there was a minimum of offensiveness, whether there was social danger of the action, whether there is relevant disapproval of the behavior.

Principle of humanity of penalty

Arising from the principle of human dignity . Thus, in theory, the penalty is prevented from being used as a means of violence, with inhuman or cruel treatment.

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