Victims' rights - by country

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

Is further appeal possible?

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

More information

Can I appeal against a sentence or if the defendant is declared not guilty?

If you are a civil party (1), you can appeal against а criminal judgment before the criminal court, but your appeal may only refer to the “civil aspects” of the impugned judgement. When both you and the prosecution file an appeal, the appellate proceeding deals with both criminal and civil aspects of the matter.

You can appeal within:

  • 30 days in cases of trials where the reasons for judgment must be published by the court within 15 days of the verdict’s announcement;
  • 45 days in cases of trials where the reasons for judgment must be published by the court – given the complexity of the case - within 90 days of the verdict’s announcement.

If you disagree with the “criminal” aspects of the judgment (i.e. in case the defendant has been acquitted or the punishment is too lenient), you may ask the prosecution to appeal. However, the prosecution is not bound to comply with such а request.

Is further appeal possible?

If you are a civil party (1), you may also file a third instance appeal to the Court of Cassation for violations of the law including violations of rules concerning the admissibility of evidence, rules concerning instances of illogic or contradictory reasons for judgment, etc.

You can appeal within:

  • 30 days in cases of trials where the reasons for judgment must be published by the court within 15 days of the verdict’s announcement;
  • 45 days in cases of trials where the reasons for judgment must be published by the court – given the complexity of the case - within 90 days of the verdict’s announcement.

What rights do I have after the court sentence enters into force?

There is no structure system in place to ensure information to you after the sentencing of the offender. After the court sentence enters into force you have no right to be informed of the convicted person’s release.

No interpretation or translation of documents free of charge, no further access to any data or documents and no further protection will be provided to you.

Regardless of your previous role in the proceedings you will have no right to access to proceedings before the judicial authorities (the Supervisory Penitentiary Court and the Supervisory Magistrate) in charge of controlling the prison regime of the defendant.

When the offender is placed under the supervision of a social worker, your interests are still considered instead. Inmates eligible for be placed under the supervision of a social worker are given a series of “behavioural” orders by the Supervisory Courts. These orders must be followed so to qualify for a successful probation and subsequent release. Where appropriate, the convicted person may be required to take positive action for the benefit of the victim.

More information:

  • Italian Constitution (La Costituzione della Repubblica Italiana) – in English and Italian
  • Code of Criminal Procedure (Codice di Procedura Penale) – in Italian
  • Criminal Code (Codice Penale) – in Italian
  • Law 354/75 - Rules on the prison system and the implementation of measures which deprive or limit freedom (Legge 26 luglio 1975 n. 354, Norme sull'ordinamento penitenziario e sulla esecuzione delle misure privative e limitative della libertà) – in Italian
Note:

1. Civil Party
You may join the criminal proceedings as civil party at the official opening of the pre-trial hearing (for proceedings concerning offences for which a preliminary hearing is prescribed by the law) trial and/or appeal stage. As a civil party you have rights as a party to the proceedings - to participate, argue motions, submit evidence, question witnesses, etc.
However, if you fail to join the proceedings at the pre-trial hearing, you run the risk that the proceedings may take the form of summary proceedings to which you then can no longer participate as a party.
In order to become a civil party during the trial, you need to file a written pleading to the trial court with a specific indication of the related claim.
As a civil party you have full access to the case file and all subsequent documents filed with regard to the proceedings. You also have the right to interpretation and language assistance at both the preliminary hearing and trial.
Last update: 13/10/2020

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