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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 126690 Find in a Library
Title: Trends in Criminal Law (From Criminal Law in Action: An Overview of Current Issues in Western Societies, P 37-48, 1988, Jan van Dijk, Charles Haffmans, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-126687)
Author(s): I Anttila
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Kluwer Law International
Norwell, MA 02061
Sale Source: Kluwer Law International
Publicity Manager
101 Philip Drive
Assinippi Park
Norwell, MA 02061
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Provisions of Finland's penal code, passed in 1889, are characteristic of the general Scandinavian legal culture and are still evident in current criminal justice policies.
Abstract: The principle of legality is very important in Finland, and there is considerable reluctance to expand interpretation by analogy in criminal law. The legality principle, however, does not prevent deviation from penal latitude in a mitigating direction. Above all, the legality principle is associated with equality and predictability. The principle of proportionality, which derives from legality concepts, requires that the sanction for an offense be in accordance with its reproachfulness. Punishment should not cause unreasonable suffering for the offender when it is compared to offender guilt and the damage the offense causes to society. The shift over the past two decades from a consequence to a guilt orientation is particularly evident in penal code provisions on homicide and assault. The main emphasis is placed on guilt manifested by the offender at the time of the act and the most severe punishment is directed at those who planned their offense in advance or at least deliberately committed the offense. Compensation schemes have been developed to help victims, although victims must demonstrate they observed necessary precautions in protecting their property in order to receive compensation. In general, all severe sanctions containing a punitive element require that due process be followed. Goals and means of punishment are discussed in relation to crime prevention, sentencing guidelines, community service, and institutions for special offenders such as dangerous recidivists. 15 references
Main Term(s): Criminal justice system policy; Foreign criminal justice systems
Index Term(s): Finland; Punishment; Victim compensation
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