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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Nulla poena nullum crimen sine lege

Claus Kreß

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 11 December 2023

Principle of legality — Democracy — Retroactivity

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The principle of legality or nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege covers both prohibited criminal conduct (nullum crimen sine lege) and sanctions for it (nulla poena sine lege). In its broadest sense, the principle of legality encompasses the following in respect of criminal provisions: (1) the principle of non-retroactivity (nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege praevia); (2) the prohibition against analogy (nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege stricta); (3) the principle of certainty (nullum crimen, nulla poena sine lege certa); and (4) the prohibition against...
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