Enforcement of sentences of imprisonment


Criminal Code 1995 (2013)

General provisions on felonies and misdemeanours, the persons responsible, the penalties, security measures and other consequences of criminal offences

On penalties

On punishments, their types and effects


Article 36

1. Imprisonment shall have a minimum duration of three months and a maximum of twenty years, apart from the exceptional terms provided in other provisions of this Code.

Its fulfilment, as well as penitentiary benefits involving shortening of the sentence, shall be applied pursuant to the terms of the laws and this of Code.

2. When the term of the prison sentence handed down exceeds five years, the Judge or Court of Law may order that classification of the prisoner in pre-release penitentiary treatment not take place until half of the sentence handed down has been served.

In any event, when the term of the prison sentence handed down exceeds five years and it is for a felony of those listed below, classification of the convict in pre-release penitentiary treatment may not take place until half the sentence has been served :

a) A felony related to terrorist organisations and groups and felonies of terrorism under Chapter VII of Title XXII of Book II of this Code ;
b) A felony committed within a criminal organisation or group ;
c) A felony under Article 183 ;
d) A felony under Chapter V of Title VIII of Book II of this Code, when the victim is under thirteen years old.

The Parole Board Judge, following an individual assessment that favours social reinsertion, and evaluating the personal circumstances of the prisoner and evolution of the re-education treatment, as appropriate, may issue a reasoned ruling, having heard the Public Prosecutor, the Directorate-General for Penitentiary Institutions and the other parties, to apply the general regime of serving sentence, except in the cases set forth in the preceding Section.

Rome Statute

Article 103 Role of States in enforcement of sentences of imprisonment


(a) A sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a State designated by the Court from a list of States which have indicated to the Court their willingness to accept sentenced persons.

(b) At the time of declaring its willingness to accept sentenced persons, a State may attach conditions to its acceptance as agreed by the Court and in accordance with this Part.

(c) A State designated in a particular case shall promptly inform the Court whether it accepts the Court's designation.


(a) The State of enforcement shall notify the Court of any circumstances, including the exercise of any conditions agreed under paragraph 1, which could materially affect the terms or extent of the imprisonment. The Court shall be given at least 45 days' notice of any such known or foreseeable circumstances. During this period, the State of enforcement shall take no action that might prejudice its obligations under article 110.

(b) Where the Court cannot agree to the circumstances referred to in subparagraph (a), it shall notify the State of enforcement and proceed in accordance with article 104, paragraph 1.

3. In exercising its discretion to make a designation under paragraph 1, the Court shall take into account the following:

(a) The principle that States Parties should share the responsibility for enforcing sentences of imprisonment, in accordance with principles of equitable distribution, as provided in the Rules of Procedure and Evidence;

(b) The application of widely accepted international treaty standards governing the treatment of prisoners;

(c) The views of the sentenced person;

(d) The nationality of the sentenced person;

(e) Such other factors regarding the circumstances of the crime or the person sentenced, or the effective enforcement of the sentence, as may be appropriate in designating the State of enforcement.

4. If no State is designated under paragraph 1, the sentence of imprisonment shall be served in a prison facility made available by the host State, in accordance with the conditions set out in the headquarters agreement referred to in article 3, paragraph 2. In such a case, the costs arising out of the enforcement of a sentence of imprisonment shall be borne by the Court.

Article 105 Enforcement of the sentence

1. Subject to conditions which a State may have specified in accordance with article 103, paragraph 1 (b), the sentence of imprisonment shall be binding on the States Parties, which shall in no case modify it.

2. The Court alone shall have the right to decide any application for appeal and revision. The State of enforcement shall not impede the making of any such application by a sentenced person.