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Russia: No Criminal Liability for Medical Errors

(Apr. 2, 2009) On March 10, 2009, the State Duma (legislature) of the Russian Federation adopted amendments to article 124 of the country's Criminal Code, which establishes the punishment for refusal to provide assistance to a sick person. An amendment bill introduced by the leading pro-government party faction “United Russia” was almost unanimously passed in […]

Russia: Criminal Liability for Selling Alcohol to Minors

(Apr. 1, 2009) On March 3, 2009, a bill on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure was introduced in the State Duma (legislature) of the Russian Federation. The bill provides for the establishment of criminal responsibility for selling tobacco and alcohol products, including beer, to individuals under 18 years of […]

Zimbabwe: Juveniles to Be Flogged for Homosexual Act

(Mar. 30, 2009) A regional magistrate in Zimbabwe sentenced two 16-year-old high school students who pleaded guilty to sodomy charges to receive “moderate” corporal punishment of three caning strokes each, to be administered by a designated prison officer. In addition, the magistrate imposed on the teenage boys a conditionally suspended one-year prison sentence for five […]

Brazil: Penal Code Amended to Cover “Lightning” Kidnappings

(Mar. 30, 2009) On March 24, 2009, the Brazilian Federal Senate approved a bill criminalizing a new type of crime currently being practiced in Brazil, the “lightning kidnapping” (sequestro-relâmpago). The crime is characterized by the kidnapping of a person for a short period of time, while the criminals try to obtain, from the victim or […]

Russia: Criminal Law and the Soviet Role in WWII

(Mar. 6, 2009) On February 24, 2009, the Vice-Chairman of the Federation Council (the upper chamber of the Russian legislature), while in Poland attending events commemorating the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, stated that Russia may join other Western countries whose laws establish criminal responsibility for […]

El Salvador: Amendment to Criminal Code

(Mar. 3, 2009) Decree 745 of November 21, 2008, amends article 338-B of the Criminal Code of El Salvador concerning trafficking of prohibited objects in penitentiaries and in centers of detention or reeducation. The entry into, introduction of, trafficking in, possession of, or circulation inside a penitentiary or detention or reeducation center of objects prohibited […]

Brazil: Castration for Pedophiles

(Feb. 9, 2009) The Brazilian Congress is currently debating a proposed law that amends the Penal Code to impose a punishment of chemical castration on persons convicted of committing rape or other sexual crimes against children and adolescents. The proposal makes the chemical punishment mandatory for recurrent convicts and optional for first-time offenders. The author […]

Peru: Sentences Imposed for Fraudulent Corporate Activities

(Feb. 3, 2009) On December 30, 2008, President Alan García Pérez of Peru signed a law that amends articles 198 and 245 of the Criminal Code (Law No. 29307). Article 198 deals with fraudulent management. A prison sentence of one to four years will be imposed on a person who, in the exercise of functions […]

Italy: Public Security

(Oct. 22, 2008) On July 24, 2008, the Italian Parliament converted into Law 125 of 2008 the Decree-Law 92 of May 23, 2008, on Urgent Matters of Public Security. The conversion includes amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. Highlights of the changes are as follows. Amendments to the Criminal Code […]

Peru: Crimes Against Copyright and Against the Environment

(Oct. 22, 2008) On October 1, 2008, President Alan Garcia Perez of Peru promulgated Law 29263, which amends several articles of the Criminal Code as well as several articles of the General Law on the Environment. The amended articles of the Criminal Code are on copyright. They deal with penalties for the reproduction, publication, distribution, […]