1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national law or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed. If, subsequent to the commission of a criminal offence, the law provides for a lighter penalty, that shall be applicable.
2. This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles recognised by the community of nations.
3. The severity of penalties must not be disproportionate to the criminal offence.
This Article follows the traditional rule of the non-retroactivity of laws and criminal sanctions. There has been added the rule of the retroactivity of a more lenient penal law, which exists in a number of Member States and which features in Article 15 of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Article 7 of the ECHR is worded as follows:
‘1. No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.
2. This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by civilised nations.’
In paragraph 2, the reference to ‘civilised’ nations has been deleted; this does not change the meaning of this paragraph, which refers to crimes against humanity in particular. In accordance with Article 52(3), the right guaranteed here therefore has the same meaning and scope as the right guaranteed by the ECHR.
Paragraph 3 states the general principle of proportionality between penalties and criminal offences which is enshrined in the common constitutional traditions of the Member States and in the case-law of the Court of Justice of the Communities.
Article 39 Only a law may designate which acts constitute a crime and what penalties, or other detriments to rights or property, may be imposed for committing them. Article 40 (1) Only a court may decide on guilt and on the punishment for criminal offences. (...) (6) The question whether an act is punishable or not shall be considered, and penalties shall be imposed, in accordance with the law in effect at the time the act was committed. A subsequent law shall be applied if it is more favorable for the offender.
Článek 39 Jen zákon stanoví, které jednání je trestným činem a jaký trest, jakož i jaké jiné újmy na právech nebo majetku, ze za jeho spáchání uložit. Článek 40 (1) Jen soud rozhoduje o vině a trestu za trestné činy. (...) (6) Trestnost činu se posuzuje a trest se ukládá podle zákona účinného v době, kdy byl čin spáchán. Pozdějšího zákona se použije, jestliže je to pro pachatele příznivější.
See ECHR provisions of Article 7 which have been incorporated into UK law by the Human Rights Act 1998.. Schdule 1, Article 7 No punishment without law
1 No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence under national or international law at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the criminal offence was committed.
2 This Article shall not prejudice the trial and punishment of any person for any act or omission which, at the time when it was committed, was criminal according to the general principles of law recognised by civilised nations.
Chapter 2 - Fundamental rights and freedoms: Article 10 No one may be sentenced to a penalty or penal sanction for an act which was not subject to a penal sanction at the time it was committed. Nor may anyone be sentenced to a penal sanction which is more severe than that which was in force when the act was committed. The provisions
laid down here with respect to penal sanctions also apply to forfeiture and other special legal effects of crime (...)
Article 11 No court of law may be established on account of an act already committed, or for a particular dispute or otherwise for a particular case. Legal proceedings shall be carried out fairly and within a reasonable period of time. Proceedings in courts of law shall be open to the public.
2 kapitlet - Grundläggande fri- och rättigheter: 10 § Straff eller annan brottspåföljd får icke åläggas för gärning som icke var belagd med brottspåföljd, när den förövades. Ej heller får svårare brottspåföljd åläggas för gärningen än den som var föreskriven då. Vad nu sagts om brottspåföljd gäller även förverkande och annan särskild rättsverkan av brott.(...); 11 § Domstol får icke inrättas för redan begången gärning och ej heller för viss tvist eller i övrigt för visst mål. Förhandling vid domstol skall vara offentlig.
Artículo 9 (…) 3. La Constitución garantiza el principio de legalidad, la jerarquía normativa, la publicidad de las normas, la irretroactividad de las disposiciones sancionadoras no favorables o restrictivas de derechos individuales, la seguridad jurídica, la responsabilidad y la interdicción de la arbitrariedad de los poderes públicos. Artículo 25 1. Nadie puede ser condenado o sancionado por acciones u omisiones que en el momento de producirse no constituyan delito, falta o infracción administrativa, según la legislación vigente en aquel momento. 2. Las penas privativas de libertad y las medidas de seguridad estarán orientadas hacia la reeducación y reinserción social y no podrán consistir en trabajos forzados. El condenado a pena de prisión que estuviere cumpliendo la misma gozará de los derechos fundamentales de este Capítulo, a excepción de los que se vean expresamente limitados por el contenido del fallo condenatorio, el sentido de la pena y la ley penitenciaria. En todo caso, tendrá derecho a un trabajo remunerado y a los beneficios correspondientes de la Seguridad Social, así como al acceso a la cultura y al desarrollo integral de su personalidad. 3. La Administración civil no podrá imponer sanciones que, directa o subsidiariamente, impliquen privación de libertad.
Section 9 (...) (3) The Constitution guarantees the principle of legality, the hierarchy of legal provisions, the publicity of legal statutes, the non-retroactivity of punitive provisions that are not favourable to or restrictive of individual rights, the certainty that the rule of law shall prevail, the accountability of public authorities, and the prohibition of arbitrary action of public authorities.
Section 25(1) No one may be convicted or sentenced for actions or omissions which when committed did not constitute a criminal offence, misdemeanour or administrative offence under the law then in force. (2) Punishments entailing imprisonment and security measures shall be aimed at reeducation and social rehabilitation and may not involve forced labour. The person sentenced to prison shall enjoy, during the imprisonment, the fundamental rights contained in this Chapter except those expressly restricted by the content of the sentence, the purpose of the punishment and the penitentiary law. In any case, he or she shall be entitled to paid work and to the appropriate Social Security benefits, as well as to access to cultural opportunities and the overall development of his or her personality. (3) The Civil Administration may not impose penalties which directly of indirectly imply deprivation of freedom.
Article 28 (Principle of Legality in Criminal Law) No one may be punished for an act which had not been declared a criminal offence under law, or for which a penalty had not been prescribed, at the time the act was performed. Acts that are criminal shall be established and the resulting penalties pronounced according to the law that was in force at the time the act was performed, save where a more recent law adopted is more lenient towards the offender.
28. člen (načelo zakonitosti v kazenskem pravu)Nihče ne sme biti kaznovan za dejanje, za katero ni zakon določil, da je kaznivo, in ni zanj predpisal kazni, še preden je bilo dejanje storjeno. Dejanja, ki so kazniva, se ugotavljajo in kazni zanje izrekajo po zakonu, ki je veljal ob storitvi dejanja, razen če je novi zakon za storilca milejši.
Article 49 Only the law shall lay down which conduct constitutes a criminal act, and what punishment, or other forms of deprivation of rights, or property, may be imposed for its commitment. Article 50 (...) (6) Whether any act is criminal is assessed, and punishment is determined, in accordance with the law valid at the time when the act was committed. A more recent law is applied, if it is more favorable for the perpetrator.
Čl. 49 Len zákon ustanoví, ktoré konanie je trestným činom a aký trest, prípadne iné ujmy na právach alebo majetku možno uložiť za jeho spáchanie. Čl. 50(...) (6) Trestnosť činu sa posudzuje a trest sa ukladá podľa zákona účinného v čase, keď bol čin spáchaný. Neskorší zákon sa použije, ak je to pre páchateľa priaznivejšie.
Articolul 23(12) Nici o pedeapsa nu poate fi stabilita sau aplicata decât în conditiile si în temeiul legii.
Article 23(12) Penalties shall be established or applied only in accordance with and on the grounds of the law.
Artigo 29.º (Aplicação da lei criminal) 1. Ninguém pode ser sentenciado criminalmente senão em virtude de lei anterior que declare punível a acção ou a omissão, nem sofrer medida de segurança cujos pressupostos não estejam fixados em lei anterior. 2. O disposto no número anterior não impede a punição, nos limites da lei interna, por acção ou omissão que no momento da sua prática seja considerada criminosa segundo os princípios gerais de direito internacional comummente reconhecidos. 3. Não podem ser aplicadas penas ou medidas de segurança que não estejam expressamente cominadas em lei anterior. 4. Ninguém pode sofrer pena ou medida de segurança mais graves do que as previstas no momento da correspondente conduta ou da verificação dos respectivos pressupostos, aplicando-se retroactivamente as leis penais de conteúdo mais favorável ao arguido. 5. Ninguém pode ser julgado mais do que uma vez pela prática do mesmo crime. 6. Os cidadãos injustamente condenados têm direito, nas condições que a lei prescrever, à revisão da sentença e à indemnização pelos danos sofridos. Artigo 30.º (Limites das penas e das medidas de segurança) 1. Não pode haver penas nem medidas de segurança privativas ou restritivas da liberdade com carácter perpétuo ou de duração ilimitada ou indefinida. 2. Em caso de perigosidade baseada em grave anomalia psíquica, e na impossibilidade de terapêutica em meio aberto, poderão as medidas de segurança privativas ou restritivas da liberdade ser prorrogadas sucessivamente enquanto tal estado se mantiver, mas sempre mediante decisão judicial. 3. A responsabilidade penal é insusceptível de transmissão. 4. Nenhuma pena envolve como efeito necessário a perda de quaisquer direitos civis, profissionais ou políticos. 5. Os condenados a quem sejam aplicadas pena ou medida de segurança privativas da liberdade mantêm a titularidade dos direitos fundamentais, salvas as limitações inerentes ao sentido da condenação e às exigências próprias da respectiva execução.
Article 29 (Application of criminal law) (1) No one may be sentenced under the criminal law unless the action or omission in question is punishable under a pre-existing law, nor may any person be the object of a security measure unless the prerequisites therefore are laid down by a pre-existing law. (2) The provisions of the previous paragraph do not preclude the punishment up to the limits laid down by internal Portuguese law of an action or omission which was deemed criminal under the general principles of international law that were commonly recognised at the moment of its commission. (3) No sentence or security measure may be applied unless it is expressly sanctioned by a pre-existing law. (4) No one may be the object of a sentence or security measure that is more severe than those provided for at the moment of the conduct in question, or at that at which the prerequisites for the application of such a measure were fulfilled, while criminal laws whose content is more favourable to the accused person shall be applied retroactively. (5) No one may be tried more than once for commission of the same crime. (6) Citizens who are unjustly convicted have the right to the review of their sentences and to compensation for the damages they have suffered, as laid down by law. Article 30 (Limits on sentences and security measures) (1) No sentence or security measure that deprives or restricts freedom may be perpetual in nature or have an unlimited or undefined duration. (2) In cases of danger based on a serious psychic abnormality in which therapy in an open environment is impossible, security measures that deprive or restrict freedom may be successively extended for as long as the psychic state in question is maintained, but always by judicial decision. (3) Criminal liability is not transferable. (4) No sentence shall automatically involve the loss of any civil, professional or political right. (5) Convicted persons who are the object of a sentence or security measure that deprives them of their freedom retain their fundamental rights, save for the limitations that are inherent to the purpose of their convictions and to the specific requirements imposed by the execution of the respective sentences.
Article 42.1. Only a person who has committed an act prohibited by a statute in force at the moment of commission thereof, and which is subject to a penalty, shall be held criminally responsible. This principle shall not prevent punishment of any act which, at the moment of its commission, constituted an offence within the meaning of international law.
Article 421. Only a person who has committed an act prohibited by a statute in force at the moment of commission thereof, and which is subject to a penalty, shall be held criminally responsible. This principle shall not prevent punishment of any act which, at the moment of its commission, constituted an offence within the meaning of international law.
Art. 42.1. Odpowiedzialności karnej podlega ten tylko, kto dopuścił się czynu zabronionego pod groźbą kary przez ustawę obowiązującą w czasie jego popełnienia. Zasada ta nie stoi na przeszkodzie ukaraniu za czyn, który w czasie jego popełnienia stanowił przestępstwo w myśl prawa międzynarodowego.
Article 57. Penalties:
Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
Article 4 - Confiscation
‘1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to enable the confiscation, either in whole or in part, of instrumentalities and proceeds or property the value of which corresponds to such instrumentalities or proceeds, subject to a final conviction for a criminal offence, which may also result from proceedings in absentia.
2. Where confiscation on the basis of paragraph 1 is not possible, at least where such impossibility is the result of illness or absconding of the suspected or accused person, Member States shall take the necessary measures to enable the confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds in cases where criminal proceedings have been initiated regarding a criminal offence which is liable to give rise, directly or indirectly, to economic benefit, and such proceedings could have led to a criminal conviction if the suspected or accused person had been able to stand trial.‘
Article 5 - Extended confiscation
‘1. Member States shall adopt the necessary measures to enable the confiscation, either in whole or in part, of property belonging to a person convicted of a criminal offence which is liable to give rise, directly or indirectly, to economic benefit, where a court, on the basis of the circumstances of the case, including the specific facts and available evidence, such as that the value of the property is disproportionate to the lawful income of the convicted person, is satisfied that the property in question is derived from criminal conduct.‘