Promising practice :
Prosecutor General’s Office.
The period of applicability of Law No. 55/2020 of 27 August, which defines the objectives, priorities and criminal policy orientations for 2020–2022.
Prosecutors and police.
The instructions became applicable only in January 2021 and so it is too soon to measure outputs.
Law No. 55/2020 establishes crimes motivated by racial, religious or sexual discrimination as a priority in terms of prevention. It also establishes crimes committed against particularly vulnerable people, including elderly people, people with disabilities and immigrants, as a priority in terms of investigation.
According to the framework law on criminal policy (Law No. 17/2006 of 23 May), it is incumbent on the Prosecutor General to establish hierarchical instructions that bind the actions of prosecutors and the police. In Directive No. 1/2021, emphasis is placed on victims of crime, especially those who are particularly vulnerable, with regard to their rights to information, assistance, protection and support. Law No. 55/2020 of 27 August establishes in its Article 4 that crimes motivated by racial, religious and sexual discrimination are a priority in terms of prevention, and recognises the importance of combating such hate crimes. As such, Article 8 establishes as a priority the protection and compensation of victims. Moreover, it is essential that victims receive adequate information and support to exercise and fulfil their rights.
Directive No. 1/2021 specifies and underlines several measures that are directed at the promotion of the rights of victims of crime. In this regard, it reiterates victims’ right to information, namely concerning the legal basis and services responsible for initiating claims for compensation and the institutions that develop activities to support victims of crime. It also reiterates that victims have the right to be accompanied by a lawyer in any proceedings in which they participate as well as the right to be accompanied by a person of their choice, namely a victim support worker. Moreover, it reasserts that proceedings should prevent secondary victimisation and, to that effect, should be conducted in an informal and safe and confidential environment; that, in situations in which the perpetrator must attend depositions and the taking of statements, the victim’s statements should be taken by videoconference and teleconference; that measures should be adopted to prevent contact between the victim and the offender, namely in court buildings; and that psychosocial support should be provided or promoted.
Communication and information are key. The General Prosecutor’s Office, as well as criminal police bodies, through their websites, should provide and keep updated information for citizens about their rights if they are victims of crime.
The instructions are aimed at a very large number of professionals. An assessment of their impact is not yet possible as they became applicable only in January 2021.
Prosecutors and the police.
The General Prosecutor’s Office monitors the impact of the instructions on the work of prosecutors.
General Prosecutor’s Office
Telephone: 213 921 900