criminal code

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now
A criminal code (or penal code) is a document that compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law. Typically a criminal code will contain offences that are recognised in the jurisdiction, penalties that might be imposed for these offences, and some general provisions (such as definitions and prohibitions on retroactive prosecution).Criminal codes are relatively common in civil law jurisdictions, which tend to build legal systems around codes and principles which are relatively abstract and apply them on a case-by-case basis. Conversely they are not as common in common law jurisdictions.
The proposed introduction of a criminal code in England and Wales was a significant project of the Law Commission from 1968 to 2008. Due to the strong tradition of legal precedent in the jurisdiction and consequently the large number of binding legal judgements and ambiguous 'common law offences', as well as the often inconsistent nature of English law, the creation of a satisfactory code became very difficult. The project was officially abandoned in 2008 although as of 2009 it has been revived.A statutory Criminal Law Codification Advisory Committee for Irish criminal law met from 2007 to 2010 and its Draft Criminal Code and Commentary was published in 2011.In the United States, a Model Penal Code exists which is not itself law but which provides the basis for the criminal law of many states. Individual states often choose to make use of criminal codes which are often based, to a varying extent on the model code. Title 18 of the United States Code is the criminal code for federal crimes. However, Title 18 does not contain many of the general provisions concerning criminal law that are found in the criminal codes of many so-called "civil law" countries.
Criminal codes are generally supported for their introduction of consistency to legal systems and for making the criminal law more accessible to laypeople. A code may help avoid a chilling effect where legislation and case law appears to be either inaccessible or beyond comprehension to non-lawyers. Alternatively critics have argued that codes are too rigid and that they fail to provide enough flexibility for the law to be effective.
The term "penal code" (code pénal) derives from the French Penal Code of 1791.

View More On
  1. T

    NSW Tax Crime - Criminal Appeal - Commonwealth Criminal Code Act

    In 2016, I was convicted of seven offences pursuant of s.134.2(1) of the CCA 1994 (Cth'). Crucial to the CDPP's case against me were amended tax (tax) assessments that were at the time subject to review in Part IVC proceedings before the AAT. I was subsequently imprisoned for 3.5 years. I have...
  2. M

    QLD Criminal Code - Unable to Arrest People as a Citizen?

    Hi all, I owned/operated a security firm in NSW for many years. During my career, I arrested several offenders. I have since retired and moved to QLD. I found myself in a situation where police were failing to act in relation to Hooning offences (evidence handed to the Crime and Corruption...
  3. M

    QLD Obtaining Address as Breach of Privacy - Any Recourse?

    I have a friend that's being sued for defamation (long story, subject of another post). However, the man that is suing her has obtained her home address inappropriately. She is the victim of domestic violence, her ex-partner has served his time in jail and has been released two months ago, in...
  4. Q

    QLD Criminal Code - Legal to View Child Exploitation Materials?

    According to the QLD Criminal Code 1899 "Chapter 22--Offences against morality" it is criminal to possess, distribute, make and encourage the use of child exploitation material. However nowhere does it state that it is criminal to simply access such material. Is this correct? It seems odd, as...
  5. J

    NSW Can Criminal Code Act Protect My Non-Marital Status?

    I am not married, nor do I wish to be through conscious choice. I do like members of the opposite sex and having extended year on year relationships with them. Whilst not married, I believe that in the eyes of the state that I may be considered married through de facto relating. The
  6. R

    VIC Criminal Code - Removing of Disorderly Person from Property?

    I'm in Victoria but my question relates to the QLD Criminal Code 1899 Section 277 (2) - the removal of a disorderly person from one's property. The Act states that although one may use reasonable force to remove a person, he or she is not permitted to occasion the person (being removed)...
  7. T

    VIC Criminal Code 1995 - What Rules of Discovery Should Apply?

    Apparently most cases are tried under the Local Court under s.135.2(1) of the Criminal Code 1995, which is federal. The more serious ones are in the District Court. So a federal offence, tried in a local court. So what rules of discovery would apply? Would it be the (VIC) Magistrates court...
  8. W

    QLD Illegal to Accidentally View Pornography Online?

    Hello, I was on the deep web, just looking through wikis and safe information websites when I stumbled upon a link that I accidentally clicked and was directed to a website. I wasn't sure of the website's content as no images had loaded. I don't know what button I pressed and Images were shown...
  9. M

    QLD Application for Costs Possible in Criminal Law Case?

    Hi everyone, First-time poster here. I am wondering if making an application for costs is possible in a criminal case? Here is the situation. My partner was involved in a street scuffle whilst out drinking one night in March. Basically, he and all the males in a club were thrown out because...
  10. NR.

    QLD Stealing Charge - What's Going to Happen Under Criminal Law?

    Hi, I have my first court date and I'm a bit worried about what's going to happen. Here's some history: I was first charged with Unauthorized Taking of Goods - Shoplifting, to the value of about $40. I was given a notice to appear, however, the officer let me know how I could go online and...