Public hearings started at the Azerbaijani Parliament in connection with the amendments proposed by the country’s president to the Criminal Code.
The hearings are being held by the parliamentary Committee on Legal Policy and State Building, APA reported.
Addressing the event, the committee chairman, Ali Huseynli, underlined the importance of the amendments proposed by President Ilham Aliyev. He also stressed the need for their public discussion.
Vusal Isayev, an official of the Presidential Administration's department for work with law-enforcement bodies, said in his speech that about 300 amendments were proposed, and the sentences for 34 types of crimes will be reduced.
“The decriminalization of a series of acts in accordance with the proposed amendments does not mean that the perpetrators will be fully exempt from punishment. In this regard, there are relevant articles of the Code of Administrative Offenses,” he added.
Safar Mirzayev, head of the parliament’s Office, said that the draft amendments provide for introducing new types of alternative punishment into the Criminal Code.
“Any legislation needs to be improved. From this point of view, the order signed by President Ilham Aliyev on February 10 this year is of great importance,” he said.
Mirzayev reminded that many significant amendments have been made the Criminal Code over the past years. “At the same time, President Ilham Aliyev repeatedly signed pardon decrees, and amnesty acts were adopted at the initiative of First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva,” he added.
According to him, it is not common of heads of state in post-Soviet republics to voice concern over imprisonment.
“The concern is that pretrial detentions and arrests are on the rise. The president thinks it is abnormal. We, as a law community, also agree with this,” he said.
Mirzayev went on to say that the draft law on amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been submitted to the parliament by the country’s president.
“The draft law consists of four parts. These directions have to do with decriminalization of some crimes and application of wider alternative punishments. The draft law is aimed at wider application of alternative punishments and introducing new alternative punishments to the Criminal Code. The draft law also emphasizes that if a crime is related to economic or financial activity and if the danger to the public is defined by the damage caused, the offender will either be exempt from criminal liability or face a minor penalty,” he said.
“When the punishment is imposed, expansion of premature exemption from punishment and replacement of imprisonment with alternative punishments are of important issues which indicate that the head of state pays much attention to ordinary people who live in this country and strive for the development of the country’s economy,” Mirzayev added.
The hearings are continuing.