Conflict between the Rights of Victim of a Crime and the Rights of the Accused under the German and Polish Justice System in the Context of the Case-law of European Courts

Cezary Kulesza

Abstract


The purpose of this article is to examine conflict between the rights of victims of crimes and the rights of defendants under the German and Polish justice system in the context of the case-law of European courts. The analysis covers two possible occurrences of this conflict: 1) in the cognitive sphere, including proving the defendant’s guilt or innocence, and 2) in the decision-making sphere, including initiation of a criminal applying preventive measures, and sentencing. The main thesis of the article is that in the Polish and German criminal process granting the injured parties not only protective rights, but also the status of an active trial party, the risk of this conflict in both of the above-mentioned spheres of the criminal trial is greater than, e.g., in the Anglo-Saxon process where the victim of the crime acts only as a witness. However, the research cited in the article indicates that the extensive codex procedural rights of injured parties as procedural parties (law in books) are not accompanied by their effective use in procedural practice (law in action). Therefore, the protective rights of alleged vulnerable victims, particularly victims of sexual offences, pose a greater threat to the rights of a defendant which constitute the principle of fair trial in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Considerations of this article confirm also the thesis that procedural rights of defendants still have priority over victims’ rights, which of course results from the inclusion of the former in the human rights catalog contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.


Keywords


conflict of rights; victim of crime; accused; ECtHR; CJEU

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2020.29.4.135-164
Data publikacji: 2020-09-30 22:31:41
Data złożenia artykułu: 2020-03-12 21:15:07


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