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Victims' rights - by country


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Can I appeal against the ruling?

The trial concludes with a court decision (sentence), which may result in: the conviction or acquittal of the defendant, the waiver or postponement of sentencing or the termination of the criminal proceedings. The decision will be announced during a public court hearing. If you have participated in the trial as a victim and/or civil party, you will receive a copy of the court’s decision by post.

If you are not satisfied with the court decision, you can appeal against it. You can file an appeal only if you have participated in the trial as a victim or civil party.

You can also appeal as a witness, but only in relation to the reimbursement of legal expenses and indemnities you are entitled to.

If you are a victim or civil party, the deadline for submitting the appeal is 10 days after receiving a copy of the decision minutes.

If you have acted as a witness, you can file an appeal right after a decision on legal expenses and indemnities has been handed down, but no later than 10 days from the ruling that settled the case or from the notification of the ruling on legal expenses or indemnities, as applicable.

The appeal has to be made in writing and signed. Appeals are submitted to the same court whose decision you are appealing against.

After receiving the appeal, the court will forward it to the higher court competent to deal with it. The copy of the court’s decision will include information about when and where you can file your appeal.

What are my rights after sentencing?

The sentence will enter into force after all the opportunities for appeal have been exhausted. After the sentence enters into force, your role in the proceedings is over. If you have been placed under a special witness protection programme during the proceedings, you can continue to benefit from it until the court decides that you are no longer in danger.

Am I entitled to support or protection after the trial? For how long?

As support measure, free psychological counselling is provided for no longer than 3 months. Victims under 18 years of age are entitled to free psychological counselling for no longer than 6 months.

Protection under the witness protection programme may also continue after the trial. The term of such protection will be decided by the court.

What information will I be given if the offender is sentenced?

If the offender is sentenced, you can have access to the following categories of information: the type and the duration of the penalty (the sentence is handed down in public session and will be delivered to you subsequently), information in case of escape, release on any terms, provided that you have requested such information.

Will I be told if the offender is released (including early or conditional release) or escapes from prison?

Yes, you will be informed of the offender’s release or escape from prison, if you have requested so when asked by the judicial bodies. Please see the answer above.

Will I be involved in release or parole decisions? For example, can I make a statement or lodge an appeal?

Your role in the criminal proceedings will be over when the court's decision (convicting or acquitting the defendant, waiving or postponing penalty enforcement or terminating criminal proceedings) becomes final.

You will not be involved in the offender’s release or conditional release procedure.

Last update: 10/09/2018

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