September 06, 2012 6:59 PM
ORANJESTAD — “There are many interventions that make a more specific approach of crime possible. I am of the opinion that these measures should be realized within the Kingdom or that agreements are made within the region.” Interim Attorney General Peter Blanken of the Public Prosecutor advocates the aforementioned with regard to the renewed Penal Code.
The Parliament of Aruba recently adopted the modernized code and according to Blanken, expectations are that it will become effective on January 1st 2013. This will then have consequences for the Public Prosecutor, the Court, the administration and chain partners. “It’s a fact that the effect of these measures will certainly challenge the Country Aruba”, the attorney general said in his lecture during the installation of three new judges at the university last Friday.
Huge changes mainly include the detention measure and the measure to place youngsters in an institution. These are very important changes, said the field officer. “A proper administration of justice makes this detention measure necessary but the complete realization for the Country Aruba involves high costs as regards infrastructure and expertise. A joint Caribbean forensic-psychiatric institution would be a good solution but requires collaboration within the Kingdom or the region.” The renewal of the juvenile criminal law also requires much from Aruba as regards infrastructure and expertise, according to Blanken. The measure Criminal Center for Addicts (SOV) that is focused on kicking the habit and rehabilitation will also involve similar investments, he said. “However, considering the current approach of the government of Aruba on the problem of drifters and the new infrastructure at KIA, I believe the SOV-measure is good and can be realized quickly.”
During his lecture the field officer also drew attention to the new wording of the punishment and exclusion grounds. He indicated that one aspect of these had already been given much attention in the media, namely self-defense by the home-owner. “The impression originated that based on the new code a resident confronted with a burglar is free to use unlimited violence as he/she likes. That is not correct.” He indicated that under the former legislation a resident confronted with a burglar in his/her house can use appropriate violence to defend himself/herself but he/she is no longer arrested or taken to the police station on account of bodily harm or something worse. Blanken emphasized that the new code departs from the assumption that the resident can refer to self-defense and that he is assumed innocent until the Public Prosecutor can prove the contrary. The demands of alternative and proportionality therefore remain in force. ”I repeat, with the new code the resident is absolutely not free to shoot every burglar”, Blanken emphasized.