The Criminal Code Committee (CCC) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported today that work has begun on the drafting of Book 2 of the new Criminal Code, a priority project of the current administration to simplify, codify and rationalize the set of more than 400 criminal laws.
The Code Committee previously completed the roadshow consultations on Book 1 governing general principles.
The highlights of Book 1 includes the change to universal jurisdiction of crimes instead of the current jurisdiction based on territory; simplifies the approach to criminalization based on conduct and not mental state; there is no longer a splitting of criminal and civil actions; provision on a new scale of penalties; the rule on double jeopardy has been rationalized to prevent abuses; and prescription of crime and service of sentence is now combined.
For Book 2, it will be composed of three main parts instead of the current fifteen titles. These are - crimes against property, crimes against persons, and crimes against the State.
Secretary of Justice Leila M. de Lima formed the CCC in April 2011, following the directive of President Benigno Aquino III during his first State of the Nation Address to recodify the country's laws to ensure their consistency.
The Code Committee is composed of representatives from more than 20 government agencies and private organizations spanning the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, the professional associations of lawyers, and the civil society.
Its work is organized through regular expert group meetings, focused group discussions, presentations and special lectures, writeshops including submission of policy papers when needed. Among these are Determining the Appropriate Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility (MACR) in the Philippines, Corporate Criminal Responsibility in the Philippines, Penalties under the New Criminal Code of the Philippines, and Amicable Settlement in Criminal Cases in the Philippines.
Since 2011, the CCC conducted forty-two (42) experts group meetings that involved representatives from the Office of the Ombudsman, Civil Service Commission (CSC), Commission on Election (COMELEC), Commission on Audit (COA), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
By the end of 2013, the CCC will be ready to submit the draft of Book 2. Meanwhile, draft Book 1 with 24 sections, was completed in October 2012 and is currently undergoing final edits in preparation for filing in the 16th Congress of the Philippines.
Recently, the DOJ signed a Framework Agreement with the Max Planck Institute (MBI) for Foreign and International Criminal Law based in Freiburg, Germany to conduct legal research and comparative law analysis.
The Hanns Seidel Foundation is the partner institution of the DOJ Criminal Code Committee.