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President approves order on humanization of penal policies and measures of restraint

Date: 13.02.17, 17:51

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President Ilham Aliyev approves order on improvement of operation of penitentiary, humanization of
penal policies and extension of application of alternative sanctions and non-custodial procedural measures of restraint.

AzVision.az presents the order:

Modernisation of public administration and the measures realised in the field of judicial-legal reforms necessitate modernisation and organisation of effective administration of penitentiary service and of activities related to execution of penalties, in general.

Notwithstanding the measures implemented in the penal field, recent analyses indicate that normal operation of penal settlements has not been ensured, difficulties arise in the process of execution of community service, and penal authorities and institutions do not make sufficient use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Wide application of arrest for low-risk or less serious crimes, including crimes in the field of economic activities, and increase in dynamics of custodial sentencing for these crimes lead to increase in number of inmates and in load of penitentiary institutions.

Having regard to Article 109 § 32 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in order to improve the operation of penitentiary institutions and to strengthen their facilities and equipment, to eliminate shortcomings within the operation of penal authorities and institutions, to fully ensure conditions excluding corruption in the field of criminal proceedings and execution of sentences, and to ensure humanisation of penal policies I decide:

1. Measures aimed at modernisation of operation of penitentiary institutions, their infrastructure refresh and improvement of their administration mechanisms shall be followed. Probation Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be established in order to organise effective control of execution of non-custodial sentences and to increase effectiveness of administration in this field.

2. Application of electronic tracking devices shall be introduced in order to ensure use of modern Information and Communication Technologies in execution of sentences and application of measures of restraint.

3. In the penal settlements, execution of sentences in the order provided for in the Penal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan and strict sanctions compliance by convicted persons shall be ensured, and measures to prevent corruption-enabling and other negative environment implemented.

4. Practices of formalistic execution of community service shall be prevented, and effective control of other non-custodial sentences ensured.

5. Possibilities of reconstruction of existing and creation of new production facilities in the penal institutions shall be explored with the purpose of involvement of inmates in socially useful labour, and measures to promote business participation in this field implemented.

6. Measures necessary for shaping professional staff, flexible and fast appointment to positions, development of skills and expertise of staff members, improvement of evaluation system of staff members, and strengthening of their social protection shall be implemented.

7. Draft-enlistment military procurement of penitentiary service with the purpose of organisation of reliable security of penitentiary institutions shall be ensured.

8. In application of measures of restraint by investigation authorities and courts, provisions of criminal procedure law concerning grounds for arrest shall be strictly complied with, and the level of application of alternative sanctions and measures of procedural compulsion shall be extended to attain aims of punishment and of measure of restraint through non-custodial means.

9. Principles of criminal law and general grounds of sentencing shall be strictly complied with; non-procedural attitudes during criminal prosecution and execution of sentences eliminated; and stricter measures to fight corruption and abuse of power implemented.

10. Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be recommended and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan instructed with elaboration and submission to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, within two months, of the draft laws on the following matters:

10.1. Decriminalisation of crimes, in particular those in the economic field;

10.2. Inclusion, in the sanctions for crimes, of the sentences alternative to imprisonment, and improvement of application grounds of existing alternative sentences;

10.3. Development of grounds for non-custodial measures of restraint and sentences alternative to imprisonment in cases when social danger of the act committed relates to pecuniary damage, which has been fully compensated;

10.4. Wider application of institutions of substitution of remainder of imprisonment by lighter punishment, parole and suspended sentence;

10.5. Extension of cases of application of measures of restraint alternative to arrest; simplification of rules for amendment of arrest by alternative measures of restraint; and further limitation of grounds for arrest for low-risk or less serious crimes.

11. Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall:

11.1. Submit proposals concerning organisation of the probation service, within one month, to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

11.2. Draft, within one month, together with Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and submit to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan proposals concerning amendments to the rules and regulations with the purpose of application of electronic tracking devices;

11.3. Establish information system on “Convicted prisoners and arrested persons”; ensure, through this system, an online exchange of information between penal authorities and institutions; and, while collecting information in the information system, take account of criteria developed by the specialised international organisations;

11.4. Organise strict registration, at the place of employment, of convicts sentenced to community service; and implement measures aimed at preventing evasion of community service and precise recording of hours worked;

11.5. Submit draft law establishing responsibility of officials for enabling evasion of community service, within two months, to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

11.6. Strengthen control of detention conditions of convicts and arrested persons, their food supply, medical and welfare support;

11.7. Ensure implementation of measures stipulated in paragraphs 3 to 6 of this Executive Order and inform, biannually, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan about its results.

12. Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be recommended:

12.1. While considering motions for arrest, to examine, firstly, the possibility of applying other measures of restraint;

12.2. When grounds for arrest exist, as provided by the criminal procedural law, to ensure that motions for selection of arrest for low-risk or less serious crimes are submitted in exceptional cases.

13. Courts shall be recommended:

13.1. While applying arrest, to examine the existence of reasonable suspicions of having committed an offence and grounds for arrest;

13.2. While considering motions for arrest, to examine arguments concerning impossibility of application of other measures of restraint;

13.3. While determining the type and extent of punishment, to have regard to the purposes of sentence – restoration of social justice, rehabilitation and prevention of new crimes;

13.4. To pay particular attention to the requirements of Article 58.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Azerbaijan concerning the grounds for imposition of sentence.

14. Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be recommended to ensure continued analysis of case law concerning application of arrest and imposition of imprisonment, and development of fair case law in this field.

15. State Military Conscription Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall ensure, upon proposals of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan, manning of penitentiary service by active military servants.

16. Local executive authorities shall promptly develop lists of places for community service and ensure their regular adjustment with bailiffs.

17. Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall:

17.1. Settle, upon proposals by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Office of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Azerbaijan, issues of funding related to application of electronic tracking devices;

17.2. Examine the possibility of funding of construction and equipment with the purpose of ensuring the compliance with provisions of the Penal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan concerning the treatment of convicts in the penal settlements;

17.3. Approve rules for determination of types and places of works for community service;

17.4. Settle other issues implied by this Executive Order.

Ilham Aliyev
President of Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 10 February 2017.

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