Venezuela’s new Organic Penal Code, based on the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was passed on Tuesday during a cabinet meeting in Caracas on Tuesday, announced Solicitor General Cilia Flores.
It will now be sent to the Supreme Court of Justice so it can made into law and enter into force by January 1, 2013, Flores said.
She added that the country’s old penal code, in place since 1893, “was pre-constitutional, it copied the German model under a complicated system of administering justice. That model failed, it had nothing to do with Venezuelan reality.”
Government institutions involved in creating the new code include the Office of the Attorney General, the Ministry of Penitentiary Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and Justice, and the Office of the Solicitor General.
Under the new code, joint courts and jury members are eliminated. The new code will implement more effective and appropriate forms of citizen participation.
“Each trial and court will be able to get support from popular organizations, [social] missions and community councils or any other community organization to help them monitor these legal processes,” Flores explained.
Likewise, she said that in six months’ time, the Supreme Court of Justice will create “municipal first offense courts to deal with sentences that do not exceed eight years, that is to say, the prosecution of minor crimes will be expedited depending on the seriousness of each case,” through the Supreme Court of Justice.
AVN / Press Office – Venezuelan embassy to the U.S. / June 13, 2012