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FUNDAMENTAL STUDY OF CRIMINAL LAW DEFINITION CRIMINAL or PENAL LAW is that branch of public law, which defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. NOTE: The Revised Penal Code (Act 3815, enacted December 8, 1930 and took effect on January 1, 1932) is the book that contains the Philippine Criminal Law.

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PRINCIPAL PARTS OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE (RPC) Arts. 1-2: Preliminary Title: Date of Effectiveness and Application of the Provisions of this Code (RPC) Arts. 3-15: Title One: Felonies and Circumstances which Affect Criminal Liability Arts. 16-20: Title Two: Persons Criminally Liable for Felonies

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Arts. 21-113: Provisions of Penalties Including Criminal & Civil Liability Arts. 114-367: Felonies Defined under the Different Titles.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF CRIMINAL LAW It is general in application. It is territorial in character. It must be prospective.

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PHILOSOPHIES UNDERLYING CRIMINAL LAW SYSTEM Classical/Juristic Philosophy Positivist/Realistic Philosophy Eclectic/Mixed Philosophy

Classical/Juristic Philosophy : 

Classical/Juristic Philosophy “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” philosophy. The purpose of penalty is RETRIBUTION. The offender is made to suffer for the wrong he has done. There is scant regard for the human element of the crime. The law does not look into why the offender committed the crime. Retribution – The act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done)… Scant means less than the correct or legal or full amount often deliberately so.

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Capital punishment is a product of this school of thought. Man is regarded as a moral creature who understands right from wrong. So that when he commits a wrong, he must be prepared to accept the punishment therefor. Capital punishment refers to death penalty.

Positivist/Realistic Philosophy : 

Positivist/Realistic Philosophy The purpose of penalty is REFORMATION. There is great respect for the human element because the offender is regarded as socially sick who needs treatment not punishment. Crimes are regarded as social phenomena which constrain a person to do wrong although not of his own volition.

Eclectic/Mixed Philosophy : 

Eclectic/Mixed Philosophy This combines both positivist and classical thinking. Crimes that are economic and social nature should be dealt with in a positivist manner, thus the law is more compassionate. Heinous crimes should be dealt with in a classical manner, thus capital punishment.


OTHER THEORIES OF ORIGIN OF CRIMINAL LAW That criminal law originated from private wrong or tort. That criminal law originated from the national processes of unified societies. That criminal law originated from the development of customs, usages and traditions. That criminal law originated from conflict of interest of different social groups. Tort means any wrongdoing for which an action for damages may be brought.

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