374. Interpretative evolution.

Many laws are drafted in vague and general terms and their interpretation and application are matters of practice for the courts1. Article 72 does not prevent the gradual clarification of the rules of criminal liability through judicial interpretation from case to case3. This flexibility accommodates the element of judicial interpretation necessary for any legal provision, however clearly drafted4.

The constituent elements of an offence must not be essentially changed by the courts to the detriment of the accused5, although Article 7 permits judicial elucidation of doubtful points and adaptation of the law to changing circumstances provided that the resultant development