On June eleven, 2019, the Hellenic Republic published inside the Government Gazette legal guidelines 4619 and 4620 that ratified respectively the brand new Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code. The provisions of these two new legal guidelines apply for all criminal court docket complaints starting July 1, 2019. There are many adjustments that create a brand new fact inside the way crook trials might be held any more, with pupils, judges, and lawyers arguing in the desire of or against the new machine. One trade that is really worth highlighting is the introduction of the “Penal Order” («Ποινική Διαταγή»), as described via articles 409-416 of the brand new Criminal Procedure Code.
The proposal for this measure comes from the German Criminal Procedure and the “Strafbefehl” (articles 407-412 of the German Code of Criminal Procedure), which is a more simple procedure due to the fact it is without the responsibility of listening to that can be observed for minor criminal cases.
In Greek regulation, the sort of “rapid-tune” courtroom order-choice already exists for debt cases in the civil regulation manner referred to as “Order for Payment” («Διαταγή Πληρωμής»). According to article 409 of the new Greek Criminal Procedure Code, the “Penal Order” can be issued for Single-Member Court in first example jurisdiction offenses which might be punished with imprisonment of as much as three hundred and sixty-five days or with an exceptional or with both consequences. In such instances, if the prosecutor managing the case considers that the present proof does not require a stay listening to of the defendant for the in addition verification of the facts leading to guilt, he submits a utility for the problem of a penal order drawing an indictment. What follows, according to article 410 of the brand new Criminal Procedure Code, is a Judge can either recollect the proof submitted now not sufficient for the guilt of the accused (and refer the case to the normal manner), or thinking about the proof sufficient and without a hearing he or she will be able to trouble a criminal order implementing a quality decreased at the least -thirds of what’s prescribed in the criminal framework or an imprisonment of up to 3 months on conditional suspension. Against the “Penal Order” the convicted individual can publish “Objections” (article 412) within 15 days of the date the “Penal Order” has been served to him (and this can be the very point in time that a person reveals out he becomes accused, attempted and a selection turned into taken in opposition to him, with none previous knowledge, methods to be heard and guard himself). If the “Objections” are submitted timely the “Penal Order” is overturned and the case receives to be attempted in the everyday method (article 413).
The measure of “Penal Order” as delivered in Greece and without the relevant safeguards of the German model regarding the defense suggest (only when the accused has a defense recommend can a penalty of imprisonment- now not exceeding 12 months and suspended on probation- be imposed) isn’t always like-minded the domestic standards of criminal law and it contradicts the rights covered by way of the European Convention of Human Rights. More especially, among the maximum important rights of an accused person are the following: knowing the accusation, being heard through the court and having a legal professional (nonetheless described in articles 89-108 of the brand new Code of Criminal Procedure). All the preceding and of the direction the presumption of innocence are assured beneath the notion of a “Fair Trial” by means of article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
With the “Penal Order” what we have in the new crook procedure fact is a defendant who may be convicted without knowing the accusations towards him, without been heard and without been represented through a legal professional. The treatment of “Objections” cannot be considered as an ok shield, due to the fact the accused starts his defense after conviction, to try to overturn a selection against him. This is a blow to the presumption of innocence. A decision that may suggest imprisonment for up to a few months (with conditional suspension) taken towards a defendant, without representation by a defense attorney, is a blow both to the rights of the accused person and the institutional protective function of the protection lawyer in the criminal justice gadget.
Furthermore, it can not be predicted what number of defendants may be capable of release “Objections” for “Penal Orders” against them and then follow the ordinary manner, even from the point of view of the price range wanted. Not all can financially undergo trying to overturn a “Penal Order” whose first-rate may be lower than the money required to head towards it in courts.
One of the motives at the back of the adjustments within the Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law has been the quest for quick justice. While undeniably behind schedule justice can bring about no justice in any respect, attempts to gain rapid tactics can not be finished on the cost of the rights of the defendant. Yes, there is a need for measures to relieve the heavy backlog of Greek courts, yet changes need to not assign the rights an accused character must experience given his prone situation. The new crook justice reality in Greece might be tested in exercise and it’ll be shown if the new era will deliver greater justice, or simply speed on the rate of the defendant.