Department of Extraordinary Legal Remedies PDF Print E-mail

 

The Department of Extraordinary Legal Remedies of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office is focused on the area of extraordinary legal remedies stipulated in Chapter seventeen and eighteen of the Code of Criminal Procedure (“CPC”), i.e. extraordinary appeal and complaint against the breach of law, which along with new trial (Chapter nineteen of the CPC) represent a breach of legal force of decisions and therefore they generally interfere with the stability of final and enforceable decision, in some cases even an already enforced decision of court or public prosecutor.

 

Extraordinary appeal is conceptually a relatively new extraordinary remedy, which was introduced to the CPC after its amendment by Act no. 265/2001 Coll., effective from January 1, 2002. By filing it, the opposing parties of criminal proceedings may achieve, for certain qualified reasons referred to in the CPC, a review of some final end effective decisions of courts.

 

Unlike other extraordinary remedies, the extraordinary appeal is designated to remedy exclusively the most serious legal flaws of the contested decision or proceedings that preceded it, that are based either in procedural or substantive law, but not factual flaws.

Resolution of factual flaws arising out of the way evidence is produced has its place in particular in regular appeal proceedings and in exceptional cases also by the means of a complaint against the breach of law or new trial. Only the Supreme Public Prosecutor is empowered by the law to file an extraordinary appeal to the detriment of the accused person, whereas the law gives him the option to file an extraordinary appeal also to the benefit of the accused person; background documents for his decision are drafted by the Department of Extraordinary Legal remedies.

 

According to Section 265h (2) first sentence of the CPC, the Department of Extraordinary Legal remedies also takes care of issuing opinions on extraordinary appeals filed by accused persons.

 

A complaint against the breach of law, which may be filed solely by the Minister of Justice, may be directed only against final and effective decisions of court or public prosecutor. The purpose of the complaint against the breach of law is to rectify legal flaws or faulty course of proceedings that preceded the contested final and effective decision. Factual flaws of the decision may be resolved by this extraordinary remedy only if they result from faulty legal assessment or faulty course of the proceedings. Otherwise any eventual changes in factual circumstances are grounds for a new trial, if they origin from new matters of fact that were previously unknown. Similarly as in the case of other extraordinary remedies, proceedings on the complaint against the breach of law is also aimed at rectification such flaws, which existed in time the contested decision was announced, or in the course of the proceedings that preceded it, and which are generally apparent from the relevant case file.

 

Plenary ruling of the Constitutional Court of October 31, 2001, file no. Pl. ÚS 15/01, published under no. 424/2001 Coll., has repealed Section 272 of the CPC with effect from January 1, 2002 (and Section 276 sentence four of the CPC as well), according to which the Supreme Court was entitled to abolish the contested decision, and eventually also the proceedings that preceded it, on the basis of a complaint against the breach of law filed to the detriment of the accused person, if it was found that the law was breached to the benefit of the accused person, and if other conditions were complied with; in following proceedings it was possible to render another decision less favorable for the accused person, which was sought in such complaint against the breach of law. This change, along with introducing a conceptually new legal remedy in the form of extraordinary appeal and along with the fact that the amendment of the CPC effected by the Act no. 265/2001 Coll., has enabled the Supreme Public Prosecutor to review and eventually also repeal certain decisions made in pre-trial proceedings (Section 174a of the CPC), meant weakening of significance of the complaint against the breach of law.

 

The Department of Extraordinary Legal Remedies of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office fulfils tasks associated with assessment of justification of motions of Regional and High Public Prosecutor’s Offices for filing extraordinary appeals, with investigation of incentives for filing a complaint against the breach of law in cases, where a Regional Court decided in the first instance, and also with reviewing criminal cases on its own initiative with respect to the existence of grounds for filing an extraordinary appeal or complaint against the breach of law.

 

Finally, the Department of Extraordinary Legal Remedies secures the participation of the public prosecutor in proceedings conducted before the Supreme Court on extraordinary appeals or complaints against the breach of law.

 
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