Flashcards in Introduction to Criminal Law Deck (17)
What is Criminal Law?
branch of law which defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment
What is Crime?
act committed/omitted in violation of a public law forbidding/commanding it.
What are the sources of PHILIPPINE CRIMINAL LAW
1. The Revised Penal Code and its amendments
2. Special Penal Laws passed by
a. Philippine Commission
b. Philippine Assembly
c. Philippine Legislature
d. National Assembly
e. Congress of the Philippines
f. Batasang Pambansa
3. Penal Presidential Decrees from Martial Law
Are COURT DECISIONS sources of criminal law?
No. Cour Decisions are not sources of criminal law for they merely explain and apply such laws.
Who has the POWER TO DEFINE AND PUNISH CRIMES?
The state has authority (police power) to:
- define/punish crimes
- lay down rules of criminal procedure
The right of prosecution and punishment for a crime is one attribute that by natural law belongs to the state.
Such right is charged by the common will of society to defend interests of the community.
What are the LIMITATIONS ON POWER OF LAWMAKING BODY TO ENACT PENAL LEGISLATION?
1. No ex post facto law or bill of attainder shall be enacted
2. No personal shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of the law
This limitation requires criminal laws to be of general application and clearly defining the acts and omissions punished as crimes.
What are the kinds of EX POST FACTO laws?
EX POST FACTO LAW is one which:
a) Makes an act done before the passage of the law CRIMINAL in nature even if it was not back then, allowing it to be punished NOW.
b) Aggravates a crime – making it greater than it was when committed
c) Changes and inflicts greater punishment
d) Alters legal rules of evidence – allows conviction on less/different testimonies than was required before
e) Assumes to regulate civil rights and remedies only, in effect imposes penalty of a right for something which when done was lawful
f) Deprives a person accused of a crime some lawful protection (Ex: protection of a former conviction/acquittal or proclamation of amnesty)
What is a BILL OF ATTAINDER?
Act which inflicts punishment w/o TRIAL
Ex: Congress passes a law which authorizes the arrest and imprisonment of Muslims without benefit of a trial.
What are the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED?
1. Right to speedy disposition of their cases before all judicial, quasi-judicial, or administrative bodies
2. Nobody shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due processes of law
3. Except those charged with reclusion perpetua, possibility of bail by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as provided by law
a.RIGHT TO BAIL not impaired even if writ of habeas corpus is suspended
b. Excessive bail not required
4. Accused shall be presumed innocent until contrary is proved; also has rights:
a.to be heard by himself and counsel
b.to be informed of nature and cause of accusation against him
c. to have speedy/impartial public trial to meet witness face to face
d. to have compulsory process to secure attendance of witnesses and evidence
or After arrangement, trial may proceed without accused given that he’s informed and his failure to appear is justified
5. No person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself
•Must be informed of right to remain silent
•Right to have competent counsel of his choice
•If cannot afford one, he must be provided one
•Cannot be waived unless written and witnessed by the specified counsel
•Torture, threats, secret detention not allowed – confessions obtained here are void
6.Excessive fines shall not be imposed + cruel punishment inflicted
7. No double jeopardy for same offense
Ex: If law is punishable by both law and ordinance, conviction/acquittal in one will bar the other
8. Free access to courts even if one suffers of poverty
What are the STATUTORY RIGHTS OF AN ACCUSED?
1. Presumed innocent until proved contrary beyond reasonable doubt
2. Informed of nature and cause of accusation
3. Present and defend in person or counsel at every stage of proceedings (from arrangement to promulgation)
4. Testify as a witness on his own behalf but subject to cross-examination. Silence shall not prejudice him.
5. Exempt from being compelled to be a witness against himself
6. Confront and cross-examine the witness against him at the trial
7. Compulsory process issued to secure the attendance of witnesses and production of other evidence in his behalf
8. To have speedy and impartial, public trial
9. To appeal in all cases allowed as prescribed by law
What are WAIVABLE rights?
right to confrontation/cross-examination (involves personal interest)
What are NON-WAIVABLE Rights?
right to be informed of nature/cause
(Involves public interest, cannot be waived)
What are the 3 CHARACTERISTICS OF CRIMINAL LAW?
1. GENERAL – criminal law is binding on all who live or sojourn in Philippine territory
2. TERRITORIAL – criminal laws undertake to punish crimes committed within Php territory
3. PROSPECTIVE – a penal law cannot make an act punishable in a manner which it was not punishable when committed
When new statute dealing with crime establishes conditions which are favorable to the accused, it can be given retroactive effect except:
1. Where the new law is made inapplicable to pending actions
2. Offender is habitual delinquent
What are the DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF REPEAL ON PENAL LAW
1. If the repeal makes the penalty lighter in the new law, such law is applied (except with cases given above)
2. If new law imposes heavier penalty, the penalty at time of commission is held
3. If the new law repeals completely existing law, crime is obliterated
Where an act expires by its own limitation, the effect is the same as though it had been repealed at the time of its expiration.