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Research Paper | Law | Egypt | Volume 8 Issue 8, August 2019
Individualization of Punishment in French Law
Alaa Mohamed Ismail Abdrabo
Abstract: More than a hundred years after Saleilles, the individualization of the sentence remains a very important topic. The principle of individualization of punishments also referred to as the principle of personalization of sentences, means that the sentences imposed by the judge must be proportionate to the offence actually committed. It requires that the punishments be adapted to the person who committed the offence, which implies taking into account his or her physical, social and family situation, personality and the circumstances in which the offence was committed. The motives, in particular, play an important role here. Individualization can modulate both the length of the sentence, which is based on the idea of punishment, and the nature and penalty system, which aims at the preservation of society. The principle has never seemed to be seriously challenged. The practice, however, shows the limits encountered when implementing the principle. A priori, the principle of individualization of punishments seems to be addressed only to the judge: the judge should only pronounce sentences proportionate to the circumstances of the offence, the personality and the situation of his author. But, in fact, it is also addressed to the legislature: it must leave a sufficient margin of appreciation to the judge.
Keywords: Punishments, individualization, proportionality, principle of legality, Aggravating circumstances
Edition: Volume 8 Issue 8, August 2019,
Pages: 710 - 725