AMENDMENTS to the Criminal Code means there are tougher sentences for certain crimes.
Custodial sentences have been given an overhaul and life imprisonment can now mean life.
Punishable by prison
- Making any child under the age of 16 watch or witness pornographic material or sexual acts – consenting or otherwise.
- Knowingly possessing or accessing child pornography or ‘realistic’ images of minors in sexual acts, even if not real children were not involved.
- Negligently or deliberately causing the death of a healthy domestic animal is punishable by 18 months in prison and a ban on owning an animal for between two and four years.
- Injuring or otherwise mistreating an animal, carries a prison sentence of between three months and one year.
Judges have criticised various parts of the new Criminal Code, which they say is ‘too general and vague’.
Judges for Democracy say too may actions have now been ‘criminalised’ needlessly, including many types of non-violent protests and demonstrations or ‘peaceful popular dissidence’.
They have complained that other parts of the Criminal Code are too lenient, particularly where maximum sentences for given crimes are less than two years, since first-time offenders do not have to go to jail where their custodial term is two years or fewer.
They have applauded the new Criminal Code’s tightening-up on piracy of audio-visual, artistic and literary material, since they say the arts and culture industries are suffering as a result of the practice.