Court Practice on the Application of the Less Favourable Criminal Law when Imposing Life Imprisonment: A Correlation between Life Imprisonment and Life Imprisonment without Commutation Cover Image
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Съдебна практика по прилагане на по-неблагоприятния закон при налагане на доживотен затвор. Съотношение на доживотния затвор с доживотния затвор без замяна
Court Practice on the Application of the Less Favourable Criminal Law when Imposing Life Imprisonment: A Correlation between Life Imprisonment and Life Imprisonment without Commutation

Author(s): Iva Pushkarova
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence, Criminal Law
Published by: Софийски университет »Св. Климент Охридски«

Summary/Abstract: The article studies in detail the whole criminal jurisprudence (a total of 16 cases) on the imposition of the gravest penalties, during the period of reform of the Bulgarian system of penalties, when life imprisonment was introduced (1996) and death penalty was replaced with life imprisonment without commutation (1999). A conclusion is made that the law which introduced life imprisonment is less favourable for the perpetrator within the meaning of Art. 2(2) of the Criminal Code and Art. 7 ECHR and should not have been imposed retroactively, which has been done in 7 cases. The analysis outlines the scope of application of life imprisonment, death penalty, life imprisonment without commutation and imprisonment. Positive and negative judicial approaches towards the applicable law are clarified. All cases of retroactive application of the criminal law are critically analyzed, as well as the causes, reasons and consequences of the judicial decisions. The study considers the fact the all penalties in question are still being executed, and focuses also on their documented effects over the respective convicts and on the impact of the regular and exclusive criminal-law instruments which have been used later to reduce the retroactivity effects following the enforcement of the sentences, i.e. conditional release after commutation under Art. 38a(3) of the Criminal Code, and pardons.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 35-57
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Bulgarian