Criminal law is a set of legal norms that organize and determine the life of society . At the same time, it is an area of knowledge formed by several subdivisions or disciplines. And one of them is the Criminal Law.
Criminal Law is the branch of law that deals with fighting crime. There is a classic division of this discipline : Subjective and Objective Criminal Law . In relation to the first, it refers to the power of a state to establish penalties in order to apply the norms dictated by the state.
There are a series of principles and values of Criminal Law that form its main essence and allow its modification or reform
The principle of legality states that no type of criminal sanction that does not correspond to any law in force is possible. Thus, the legislation in force at each moment is the reference for establishing any legal penalty.
The principle of equality states that all citizens are equal before the law, without any type of discrimination on grounds of sex, race, religion, opinion or any other circumstance.
Another principle of criminal law is the presumption of innocence
This means that when being denounced for a crime, the individual involved is innocent until proven otherwise. In this sense, the suspect does not have to prove his innocence, but must demonstrate his guilt.
The principle of culpability indicates that there is no penalty without intent or guilt (intention is being aware of the offense and guilt is part of the idea of imprudence). The penalty imposed by law must be associated or linked to a crime, for this reason, there must be a balance between both aspects. On the other hand, it is necessary to analyze the circumstances surrounding a crime and the alleged offender so that it is possible to establish aggravating or mitigating factors when applying the sanction.
The principle of humanity is also present in this branch of Law, as it does not allow any type of sanction in the form of torture or any other humiliating treatment.
These are some of the most common criminal law principles in most of the laws of democratic countries, although each country has a legal tradition and legal peculiarities established by law.
Currently, there is a legal debate on the incorporation of new crimes aimed at penal codes, especially those related to information technology .