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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]


Andrés Cervantes Valarezo

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 12 April 2024

Criminal penalties — Pardon power — Comparative constitutional law — Amnesty

General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum
Managing Editor: Martina Mantovani

1 The term ‘amnesty’ is derived from the Greek amnesia meaning forgetfulness or oblivion. It refers to a grant of forgiveness for a past criminal offence by a sovereign power, usually for an offence committed against the state (such as treason, sedition, or rebellion). Normally, amnesty is exercised in favour of individuals who may stand trial but have not yet been convicted. In contrast to pardons which are generally exercised by the executive branch, amnesties are normally granted by the legislative branch. 2 An important difference between pardon power and...
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