The interim government has introduced three new decrees, saying it represents the first signficant reform of the criminal justice system since the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code were first passed.
The Crimes Decree, the Criminal Procedure Decree and the Sentencing and Penalties Decree come into effect on February the First.
In a statement, the interim government says the Crimes Decree for the first time creates offences of crimes against humanity and of people smuggling. The offence of rape is now gender neutral and is defined in a new and enlightened way.
It says the Criminal Procedure Decree has special provisions for the taking of the evidence of vulnerable witnesses, and spouses are now both competent and compelled to give evidence against the accused.
The Sentencing and Penalties Decree gives powers to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to issue guideline sentencing judgments to ensure that sentences are consistent, proportionate to the offending and that they therefore lead to greater public confidence in the justice system.