Senate Committee Discusses General Aspects of Penal Code Reform Bill
30 agosto 2019

On August 27 the Senate Justice Committee resumed its debate of the bill to reform the Penal Code proposed by the Executive, and invited legal experts to take part in the debate for an in-depth study of the initiative. However, the meeting did not discuss specific aspects of the bill, such as cybercrime, but focused on the general intention of the text.

At the end of the meeting, Committee chairman Pedro Guastavino (Bloque Justicialista) announced that they would hold a further meeting on September 10 for the experts to finish discussing the bill. Guastavino wants to reach a consensus opinion before the end of the year, although in dialogue with Directorio Legislativo he stressed that the political context in Argentina was such that it could block the bill’s legislative passage.

In general, the experts welcomed the Executive’s proposal to construct a new regulatory framework to unify and order the reforms that the law has been subject to since its creation in 1921. However, they were critical as regards those aspects related to the length of penalties.

Among the highlights of the meeting was the participation of Juan Montiel, the Director of the International Center for Applied Research in Criminal Law. He pointed out that it is necessary to study the way in which the text is drafted with regard to corporate integrity while indicating that the bill resolves some of the issues raised by law 27.401 (Criminal Responsibility of Legal Persons).

However, Montiel recommended studying the wording of the articles on this point to allow judges to evaluate companies’ criteria for integrity and their compliance regimes. He stressed that the eventual text of the Criminal Code should incorporate general guidelines while the integrity of companies should be regulated by a special law.