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NCJ Number: 78646 Find in a Library
Title: Reform of French Criminal Law Compared to the Criminal Law Reform in the German Federal Republic (From Strafrechtsreform und Rechtsvergleichung, P 86-114, 1979, Hans Luettger, ed. - See NCJ-78642)
Author(s): G Grebing
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The history of efforts to reform the French penal code is outlined and the results compared to German reform measures.
Abstract: The French penal code of 1810, hailed as one of the model codes of the 19th century, was revised in 1832 and 1863 to eliminate the last remaining barbaric physical punishments and to reduce a number of offenses to lesser status. Another major reform in 1885 introduced conditional release, deportation for recidivists, and suspended sentences for first-time offenders. During the First World War a trend toward repressive reforms emerged and continued, expressing itself after World War II in the introduction of the death penalty for theft and severe child abuse. A second wave of criminalization has resulted from such new forms of crime as offenses against State security. Repressive tendencies are also apparent in criminal procedures law and prosecution practices for certain offenses. At the same time, a number of offenses -- birth control, abortion, adultery and minor check fraud -- have been decriminalized. Liberalized procedures include criminal orders without formal proceedings for minor offenses, trials with only one judge for certain offenses, and prosecutors' power to halt proceedings after damage compensation. Recent reform movements for resocialization in the spirit of new social defense, have advanced probation, open prisons, and suspended sentences. Procedural and correctional laws have been revised in keeping with these directions. The 1975 reform law replaced short-term imprisonment with alternative penalties, improved the fine system (comparably with the 1924 German fine system), expanded the suspended sentencing and parole system and canceled sentences for resocialized offenders. Unfortunately, little use has been made of the alternative sentences. A new code proposed in 1976 seeks to reform the existing code completely. It introduces rules covering cases of reduced criminal responsibility, criminal responsibility of corporate persons (not recognized under German law), and institutes the court for the execution of penalties. This proposal eliminates the separation of penalties and measures substituting a system of sanctions. The death penalty is to be revoked at a later date, life prison sentences are to be phased out and short-term sentences are to be considered a last resort. Probation is defined as an autonomous sanction which may be combined with a short prison sentence. However, the final form of the code revision remains undecided. Extensive notes are supplied.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Criminal codes; Decriminalization; Fines; France; Germany; Law reform; Probation; Rehabilitation; Sentencing/Sanctions
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