368. Purpose.

The core purpose of Article 71 is to provide effective safeguards against arbitrary prosecution, conviction and punishment2. First, the prohibition enshrined in Article 7 constitutes a set of protections for the citizen from the state's definition and application of criminal offences and prohibits the retrospective application of the criminal law to an accused's disadvantage; second, Article 7 embodies the principle that only the law can define a crime and prescribe a penalty and the principle that the criminal law must not be extensively construed to an accused's detriment, for instance by analogy3; and third, an offence must be clearly