Prison legislation – disciplinary sanctions for inmates
Criminal liability / responsibility
Criminal procedural guarantees
Procedural guarantees in disciplinary proceedings
RULING Nº 161/95
23 of March of 1995
Criminal procedural guarantees are not directly applicable to disciplinary procedure. Under the Constitution anyone who has disciplinary proceedings taken against him is entitled to a hearing and to defend himself. He is also entitled to adversarial proceedings, to consult the file and to a court or tribunal.
Imposing two different penalties, one disciplinary, the other criminal, for the one offence did not contravene the ne bis in idem principle.
The Court decided that a legal provision whereby a prisoner found guilty of a criminal offence inside the prison likewise incurred a disciplinary penalty was not constitutional. Under the provision in question the disciplinary punishment may be carried out before the prisoner is convicted of the criminal offence.
The Court held that, under the Constitution, punishment for a disciplinary offence which was also a criminal offence could be effected separately from the criminal proceedings. Criminal procedural guarantees were not all applicable to disciplinary proceedings. In addition, disciplinary punishment and criminal punishment for one and the same offence was not contrary to the ne bis in idem rule in that criminal liability and disciplinary liability were two separate matters.