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Disarmament Act and Prisons Code, Priority for the Venezuelan National Assembly

In 2012

The first vice president of the National Assembly (AN), Aristóbulo Istúriz, said that for the 2012 legislative session the parliamentarians will give priority to the adoption of the Law of Munitions Control and Disarmament as well as to the Prison  Code.

"These laws are a priority to start next year," said the deputy on Wednesday during a press conference that the board of the National Assembly held, which presented a balance of the 2011 legislative session.

Istúriz reported that the Internal Policy Committee had already finalized the report of the consultation process of the Law of Munitions Control and Disarmament, which began in March.

The Law of Munitions Control and Disarmament lays out that any person carrying an illegal weapon is punishable by a sentence of between 10 and 12 years. In the current Penal Code, the penalty for illegal possession of arms is two to five years in prison, so that under the Criminal Procedure Code, prosecutors must seek injunctive relief based on the magnitude of the penalty.

Under the bill, not only those who carry an illegal weapon will be punished with a larger sentence, but also for everyone who illegally sells, imports, exports or transports a weapon,  which is a crime under the new legal instrument, could be punished with 12 to 16 years in prison.

About the Law of Prisons, it aim is to adapt to the guiding principles established by the Constitution. It also proposes the creation of after-care treatment, involvement of governors and mayors in the provision of resources and the modernization of the prison work tables, ensuring the human rights of the prisoner with rehabilitation through treatment, ensuring that relatives can visit the inmate, and prison autonomy through an autonomous penitentiary.

In addition, the bill states that directors should be professional in this area, so that those in charge are not in the hands of people who don’t know the subject.
Positive Balance

This year,  the AN approved 37 laws, work considered as satisfactory for the members of the AN.
"We would have liked more laws revisited, but we are satisfied with what was achieved, 17 laws passed. This is the first year of work for this new conformed assembly. Usually when you start you should define what laws are going to work, not to approve. The assembly work is not only meeting, but the process of drafting legislation, “said the first vice president of the AN.

Istúriz said that the parliament is currently working on drafting 30 legal instruments.

AVN / Press-Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / December 22, 2011

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