He adjective imprescriptible refers to what does not prescribe . The verb prescribe , in turn, is used in the field of law to refer to the extinction of a right, an obligation or a responsibility due to the passage of time .
As a legal institute, the prescription generates a consolidation effect of a de facto situation , allowing the acquisition of something else or the extinction of a right . When something is imprescriptible, on the other hand, it is not extinguished beyond the years.
This means that, given an imprescriptible fact, you never lose the right to exercise a action . Therefore a imprescriptible crime It can be judged even if it has been a long time.
The Crimes against humanity and the war crimes , for example, are imprescriptible. In this way criminals can be prosecuted and tried even after decades of their crime .
At criminal law , the prescription can generate the extinction of the action or the penalty. That does not happen with the genocide , to cite a case, since it is a crime against humanity. Suppose a dictator who takes control of his country after a coup d'etat drives a plan to exterminate all members of an ethnic group. In this context, his government kidnaps and murders thousands of people. When this individual loses power, he leaves the nation with an unknown direction. Twenty years later, the fugitive genocidal is found. As he is responsible for an imprescriptible crime, this subject can be prosecuted and convicted of his crimes.