Criminal Procedure Law - WIPO

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Tulkošanas un terminoloģijas centra tulkojumsText consolidated by Tulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrs (Translation andTerminology Centre) with amending laws of:28 September 2005;19 January 2006;21 December 2006;17 May 2007.If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending lawappears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph orclause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside thedeleted section, paragraph or clause.The Saeima 1 has adopted and the Presidenthas proclaimed the following Law:Criminal Procedure LawPart A General ProvisionsChapter 1Basic Provisions of Criminal ProcedureSection 1. Purpose of the Criminal Procedure LawThe purpose of the Criminal Procedure Law is to determine the order of criminalprocedure – investigation of a criminal offence, criminal prosecution, and the trial of acriminal case – that ensures the effective application of the norms of the Criminal Lawand the fair regulation of criminal legal relations without unjustified intervention in thelife of a person.Section 2. Sources of the Rights of Criminal Procedure(1) Criminal procedure is determined by the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia,international legal norms, and this Law.(2) In the application of the legal norms of the European Union (Communities), thecase law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities shall be taken into account,and in the application of the legal norms of the Republic of Latvia, the interpretation ofthe appropriate norm provided in the judgment of the Constitutional Court shall becomplied with.1

(3) The norms of the criminal procedure of another state may be applied only ininternational co-operation on the basis of a request motivated by a foreign state, if suchrequest is not in contradiction to the basic principles of the criminal procedure of Latvia.Section 3. Power of the Criminal Procedure Law in SpaceThe Criminal Procedure Law shall determine a uniform procedural order in allcriminal proceedings that are performed by persons authorised to perform suchproceedings for criminal offences existing within the jurisdiction of Latvia.Section 4. Power of the Criminal Procedure Law in TimeThe order of criminal proceedings shall be determined by the criminal procedurelegal norm that is in effect at the moment of the performing of the procedural activity.Section 5. Application of the Law in International Co-operationThe legal norm of a foreign state indicated in a request motivated by the foreign statemay be applied in international co-operation without additional examining of the validitythereof.Chapter 2Basic Principles of Criminal ProcedureSection 6. Mandatory Nature of Criminal ProcedureThe official who is authorised to perform criminal proceedings has a duty to initiatecriminal proceedings and to lead such proceedings to the fair regulation of criminal legalrelations provided for in the Criminal Law in each case where the reason and grounds forinitiating criminal proceedings have become known.Section 7. Public and Private Prosecution(1) Criminal proceedings shall be performed in the interests of society independentlyfrom the will of the person to whom the harm was inflicted, if this Law does not specifyotherwise. Such types of criminal proceedings are public indictment criminalproceedings, in which the public prosecutor on behalf of the State implements theindictment function.(2) Public prosecution criminal proceedings shall be initiated for the offencesprovided for in Sections 90, 130 (in cases related to violence in the family), 131, 132,136, 145, 159, Paragraph One of Section 160, Sections 168, 169, 180, 197, 200, andParagraph One of Section 260 of the Criminal Law, if a request has been received fromthe person to whom harm has been inflicted.(3) Private prosecution criminal proceedings wherein the victim implements theprosecution function shall be performed for the offences provided for in Sections 130(expect for cases related to violence in the family), 156, 157, and 158 of the CriminalLaw.2

Section 8. Principle of EqualityThe Criminal Procedure Law shall determine a uniform procedural order for allpersons involved in criminal proceedings irrespective of the origin, social and financialsituation, employment, citizenship, race, nationality, attitude toward religion, sex,education, language, place of residence, and other conditions of such persons.Section 9. Criminal Procedural Duty(1) In initiated criminal proceedings, each person has a duty to fulfil the requirementsof an authorised official for performing criminal proceedings and to comply with theprocedural order specified in the Law.(2) The disputing of the legality and validity of a procedural requirement shall beperforming in accordance with the procedure specified by this Law, yet such disputingdoes not remove the duty to fulfil such requirement.(3) The rights to an exception from the execution of the duty specified in ParagraphOne of this Section shall be held only by persons for whom immunity from criminalproceedings has been specified.Section 10. Immunity from Criminal ProceedingsImmunity from criminal proceedings completely or partially frees a person fromparticipation in criminal proceedings, as well as from the provision of evidence and theissuance of documents and objects, and prohibits or restricts the right to perform thecriminal prosecution of such person and to apply compulsory measures against suchperson, as well as the right to enter and perform investigative activities on the premises inthe possession of such person.Section 11. Language to be used in Criminal Proceedings(1) Criminal proceedings shall take place in the official language.(2) If a person who has a rights to a defence, a victim and his or her representative, awitness, specialist, expert, auditor, as well as other persons who a person directing theproceedings has involved in criminal proceedings does not speak the official language,such persons have the right to use the language that such persons understand during theperformance of procedural actions, and to utilise the assistance of an interpreter free ofcharge, whose participation shall be ensured by the person directing the proceedings. Inpre-trial proceedings, the investigating judge or court shall provide for the participationof an interpreter in the hearing of issues that fall within the jurisdiction of theinvestigating judge or court.(3) In issuing procedural documents to a person involved in criminal proceedingswho does not understand the official language, such person shall be ensured, in the casesprovided for by the Law, a translation of such documents in a language understood bysuch person.(4) A person directing the proceedings may perform a separate procedural action inanother language by appending a translation of the procedural documents in the officiallanguage.3

(5) In a criminal proceeding, complaints received in another language shall betranslated into the official language only in the case of necessity, which shall bedetermined by the person directing the proceedings.[19 January 2006]Section 12. Guaranteeing of Civil Rights(1) Criminal proceedings shall be performed in compliance with internationallyrecognised civil rights and without allowing for the imposition of unjustified criminalprocedural duties or excessive intervention in the life of a person.(2) Civil rights may be restricted only in cases where such restriction is required forpublic safety reasons, and only in accordance with the procedures specified by this Lawaccording to the character and danger of the criminal offence.(3) The application of safety measures related to the deprivation of liberty, theinfringement of the immunity of publicly inaccessible places, and the confidentiality ofcorrespondence and means of communication shall be permitted only with the consent ofthe investigating judge.(4) A person directing the criminal proceedings, a specially authorised publicprosecutor, and an investigating judge has a duty to protect the confidentiality of theprivate life of a person and the commercial confidentiality of a person. Informationregarding such confidentiality shall be obtained and utilised only in the case where suchinformation is necessary in order to clarify conditions that are to be proven.(5) A natural person has the right to request that a criminal case does not includeinformation regarding the private life, commercial activities, and financial situation ofsuch person or the betrothed, spouse, parents, grandparents, children grandchildren,sisters, or brothers (hereinafter – close relatives) of such person, if such information is notnecessary for the fair regulation of criminal legal relations.Section 13. Prohibition of Torture and Debasement(1) Debasement, blackmail, torture, the threatening of a person with torture orviolence, or the use of violence shall not be allowed in criminal proceedings.(2) If a person resists the performance of separate procedural actions, hinders theprogress thereof, or refuses to duly fulfil his or her procedural duties, the compulsorymeasures provided for in the Law for the ensuring of a concrete procedural action may beapplied to such person.(3) In order to overcome the physical resistance of a person, a performer ofprocedural actions or, on the basis of his or her invitation, employees of the State policemay apply physical strength in exceptional cases, without needlessly inflicting pain onsuch person or debasing such person.Section 14. Rights to the Completion of Criminal Proceedings in aReasonable Term(1) Each person has the right to the completion of criminal proceedings within areasonable term, that is, without unjustified delay.4

(2) A person directing the proceedings shall choose the simplest type of criminalproceedings that complies with the concrete conditions, and shall not allow forunjustified intervention in the life of a person and unfounded expenditures.(3) Criminal proceedings wherein a security measure related to the deprivation ofliberty has been applied shall have preference, in comparison with other criminalproceedings, in the ensuring of a reasonable term.(4) Criminal proceedings against an underage person shall have preference, incomparison with similar criminal proceedings against a person of legal age, in theensuring of a reasonable term.(5) The inobservance of a reasonable term may be the basis for the termination ofproceedings in accordance with the procedures specified by this Law.Section 15. Rights to the Adjudication of a Matter in CourtEach person has a right to the adjudication of a matter in a fair, objective, andindependent court.Section 16. Rights to the Objective Progress of Criminal Proceedings(1) Officials who perform criminal proceedings, interpreters, and specialists shallwithdraw from participation in criminal proceedings if such persons are personallyinterested in the result, or if conditions exist that justifiably give persons involved in thecriminal proceedings a reason to believe that such interest may exist.(2) A person who implements assistance of a defence counsel, a victim, therepresentative of the victim, and an official who is authorised to perform criminalproceedings but is not the person directing the proceedings has the right to raise anobjection if the conditions referred to in Paragraph One of this Section exist.(3) A person directing the proceedings or the officials specified in the Law shall, onthe basis of the initiative thereof or on the basis of an objection, suspend the participationof the persons referred to in Paragraph One of this Section in proceedings if such personshave not excused themselves.Section 17. Separation of Procedural FunctionsThe function of a control of restrictions of human rights in a pre-trial investigation,and the function of prosecution, defence, and court adjudication in criminal proceedingsshall be separate.Section 18. Equivalence of Procedural AuthorisationsThis Law determines that persons involved in criminal proceedings haveauthorisation (rights and duties) that ensures for such persons equivalent actualisation ofthe tasks and guaranteed rights specified in regulatory enactments.Section 19. Presumption of Innocence5

(1) No person shall be considered guilty until the guilt of such person in thecommitting of a criminal offence has been determined in accordance with the procedurespecified by this Law.(2) A person who has the right to assistance of a defence counsel shall not need toprove his or her innocence.(3) All reasonable doubts regarding guilt that it is not able to eliminate shall beevaluated as beneficial for the person who has the right to defence.Section 20. Rights to Assistance of Counsel(1) Each person regarding whom an allegation or contention has been expressed thatsuch person has committed a criminal offence has the right to assistance of a defencecounsel, that is, the right to know what offence such person is suspected of committing oris being accused of committing, and to choose his or her position of defence.(2) A person may implement the right to assistance of counsel by him or herself, orinvite as a defence counsel, at his or her own choice, a person who may be a defencecounsel in accordance with this Law.(3) The participation of a defence counsel is mandatory in the cases specified in thisLaw.(4) If a person may not invite a defence counsel due to his or her financial situation,the State shall ensure assistance of a defence counsel for such person and decideregarding the remuneration of the defence counsel from State resources, completely orpartially discharging such person from such payment.Section 21. Rights to Co-operation(1) A person who has the right to assistance of a defence counsel may co-operate withan official authorised to perform criminal proceedings in order to promote the regulationof criminal legal relations.(2) Co-operation may be expressed in the following ways:1) in the selection of the simplest type of proceedings;2) in the promotion of the progress of proceedings;3) in the disclosure of criminal offences committed by other persons;(3) Co-operation is possible from the moment of the commencement of criminalproceedings until the execution of a sentence.Section 22. Rights to Compensation regarding Inflicted HarmA person upon whom harm has been inflicted by a criminal offence shall, taking intoaccount the moral injury, physical suffering, and financial loss thereof, be guaranteedprocedural opportunities for the requesting and receipt of moral and financialcompensation.Section 23. Court Adjudication6

In criminal cases, court shall be adjudicated by a court, examining and deciding, inhearings, the validity of a charge raised against a person, acquitting innocent persons, orrecognising persons as innocent in the committing of a criminal offence and determiningthe compulsory execution, by State institutions and persons, of a regulation of criminallegal relations that, if necessary, shall be implemented by forced execution.Section 24. Defence of a Person and Property in the Case of a Threat(1) A person who is threatened in connection to the execution of the criminalprocedural duty thereof has the right to request that a person directing the proceedingscarry out the measures provided for by Law for the defence of such person and theproperty thereof.(2) In receiving the information referred to in Paragraph One of this Section, a persondirecting the proceedings shall, depending on the concrete circumstances, decideregarding the necessity to perform one or more of the following measures:1) the commencement of another criminal proceedings for the investigation of thethreat;2) the selection of a corresponding security measure for the persons in the interest ofwhom the threat has taken place;3) the institution of the determination of special procedural protection for the personwho has been threatened;4) the assigning of law enforcement institutions the task of performing protection ofthe person or the property thereof.(3) If the measures referred to in Paragraph Two of this Section are not able toprevent an actual threat to the life of a person, a person directing the proceedings shallrefuse the utilisation of the evidence that is the case of the threat.Section 25. Inadmissibility of Double Penalising (ne bis in idem)(1) A person may be tried and punished for one and the same criminal offence onlythe one time.(2) Repeated adjudication is not:1) the repeated trial of a criminal case in a court of any instance, if the adjudication ofthe previous court has been revoked, in accordance with the appeal procedures specifiedin the Law, before the entering into effect thereof;2) the new trial of a criminal case on the basis of newly disclosed circumstances inaccordance with the procedures and in the cases specified by the Law.(3) In the cases provided for in the Law, a criminal case may be repeatedlyadjudicated, with a judgment that has entered into effect, for the improvement of thecondition of a convicted person.(4) Within the meaning of this Section, penalising is the determination of a penaltyprovided for in the Criminal Law, a compulsory measure, or the determination of amandatory duty in an adjudication with which a concrete criminal proceeding isterminated.7

(5) If in penalising a person it is determined that an administrative penalty has beenapplied to such person regarding the same offence, such administrative penalty shall berevoked and taken into account in determining a criminal penalty.(6) A person may not be tried and punished in Latvia if such person has beenconvicted or acquitted for the same offence in a foreign state with which Latvia has anagreement regarding mutual recognition of criminal judgments or an agreement regardingthe observance of the principles of ne bis in idem. If a person has been convicted in aforeign state, the part of the sentence that has already been served is to be included in thesentence in the case of repeat adjudication.(7) The principles of ne bis in idem is not violated if in penalising a legal person, anatural person is also penalised who has committed a criminal offence in the interest ofthe legal person, operating individually or as a member of a collegial authority of therelevant legal person, based on the right to represent the legal person, operate under theorder thereof, or take decisions on behalf of the legal person, or also in implementingcontrol within the framework of the legal person or in the service of the legal person.Division OnePersons Involved in Criminal ProceedingsChapter 3Officials who Perform Criminal ProceedingsSection 26. Authorisation to Perform Criminal Proceedings(1) The authorisation to perform criminal proceedings on behalf of the State shall beheld only by officials of the institutions specified in this Law who have been granted suchauthorisation in connection with an office to be held or an order of the heads ofinstitutions.(2) The following shall have authorisation in a concrete criminal proceeding:1) the person directing the proceedings;2) a member of the investigative group;3) the supervising public prosecutor;4) an official authorised to perform criminal proceedings who executes the task of theperson directing the proceedings, a member of the investigative group, or the court toconduct procedural actions (hereinafter – executor of procedural tasks);5) an expert from an expert-examination institution;6) an expert who does not work at an expert-examination institution, if the persondirecting the criminal proceedings has assigned him or her to perform an expertexamination;7) an auditor on the assignment of the person directing the proceedings;8) the direct supervisor of an investigator;9) the senior public prosecutor;8

10) the investigating judge;11) the upholder of the indictment.(3) A judge and public prosecutor, as well as court, prosecutorial, and investigativeinstitutions and the heads of the divisions thereof shall have authorisation in the decidingof organisational matters of proceedings, complaints, and recusals.(4) Officials of the authorities of the European Union (Communities) shall beauthorised to perform criminal proceedings in the cases specified in the legal norms ofthe European Union (Communities).Section 27. Person Directing the Proceedings(1) A person directing the proceedings shall be the official or court that leads thecriminal proceedings at the concrete moment. A person directing the proceedings shall:1) organise the progress of criminal proceedings and the record-keeping therein;2) take decision regarding the direction of the criminal proceedings;3) implement State authorisation in the relevant step or stage of the criminalproceedings by oneself or by involving another official;4) request that each person fulfils a criminal procedural duty and complies withprocedural order;5) ensure the opportunity for persons involved in criminal proceedings to implementthe rights specified in the Law.(2) A person directing the proceedings shall be:1) an investigator – in an investigation;2) a public prosecutor – in a criminal prosecution;3) a judge who leads the adjudication – in preparing a case for trial, as well as fromthe moment when a adjudication is announced with which legal proceedings arecompleted in the court of the relevant instance, until the transferral of the case to the nextcourt instance or until the execution of the adjudication;4) the composition of a court – during a trial.(3) An investigative group may be established for the performing of pre-trial criminalproceedings whose leader is the relevant person directing the proceedings.Section 28. InvestigatorAn investigator shall be an official of an investigative institution who is authorisedwith an order of the head of the investigative institution to perform an investigation incriminal proceedings.Section 29. Duties and Rights of an Investigator as a Person Directing theProceedings(1) An investigator has a duty:9

1) to examine information, which indicate the possible commitment of a criminaloffence, and to initiate criminal proceedings as soon as a reason and grounds specified inthe Law have been determined or to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings;2) to perform investigative actions in order to ascertain whether a criminal offencehas taken place, who committed such an offence, whether a person must be heldcriminally liable regarding such offence, and to ascertain such person and acquireevidence that gives a basis for holding such person criminally liable;3) to perform all measures provided for in the Law for ensuring compensation fordamages;4) to select a type of criminal proceedings that ensures a fair regulation of criminallegal relations without unjustified intervention in the life of a person and unfoundexpenditures;5) to fulfil the orders of the direct supervisor, supervising public prosecutor, orhigher-ranking public prosecutor thereof or the injunctions of the investigating judge.(2) An investigator has the right:1) to take any procedural decision in accordance with the procedures specified byLaw and to perform any procedural action or assign the performing thereof to a memberof an investigative group or the executor of procedural tasks;2) to propose for the supervising public prosecutor to decide the matter regarding theinitiation of criminal prosecution;3) to appeal the instructions of the direct supervisor thereof to the supervising publicprosecutor;4) to appeal the decisions and instructions of the supervising public prosecutor to ahigher-ranking public prosecutor;5) to appeal the instructions of a higher-ranking public prosecutor to the next higherranking public prosecutor;6) to appeal the decision of an investigating judge to the chief judge.[28 September 2005; 19 January 2006]Section 30. Member of an Investigative Group(1) A member of an investigative group shall be a public prosecutor or an official ofan investigative institution authorised to perform criminal proceedings who has beenincluded in the composition of the investigative group with an order of the directsupervisor of an investigator or a higher-ranking public prosecutor.(2) A member of an investigative group has the right to perform investigative actions,and take procedural decisions, on the assignment of a person directing the proceedingsand within a specific framework.(3) A member of an investigative group may appeal an assignment of a persondirecting the proceedings to a supervising public prosecutor without suspending theexecution thereof.10

(4) A member of an investigative group shall appeal the instructions of the directsupervisor of an investigator and a supervising public prosecutor, as well as shall raiseobjection, with the intermediation of a person directing the proceedings.(5) The appeal of assignments and instructions shall be performed in writing.Section 31. Direct Supervisor of an Investigator(1) The direct supervisor of an investigator shall be the head of an investigativeinstitution or a division thereof, or his or her deputy, who has been assigned, inaccordance with an allocation of duties or an individual order, to control the performanceof concrete criminal proceedings during an investigation.(2) The direct supervisor of an investigator has a duty:1) to ensure that the officials subordinated thereto commence criminal proceedings ina timely manner;2) to organise the work of executors of procedural tasks;3) to confer procedural authorisation to the necessary circle of officials subordinatedthereto, in order to ensure that the performance of criminal proceedings is targeted andwithout unjustified delay;4) to give instructions regarding the direction of an investigation and the performanceof an investigative action, if a person directing the proceedings does not ensure a targetedinvestigation and allows for unjustified intervention in the life of a person or a delay.(3) The direct supervisor of an investigator has a duty:1) to become acquainted with the materials of the criminal proceedings in the recordkeeping of the official subordinated thereto;2) to take organisational decisions significant to the proceedings, that is, to determinecriteria for the distribution of criminal proceedings, to transfer criminal proceedings toanother person directing the proceedings, to establish an investigative group, and toassume leadership of criminal proceedings;3) to participate in the procedural actions that are carried out by a performer ofactivities or a member of an investigative group;4) to carry out an investigative action, informing a person directing the proceedingsbeforehand regarding such carrying out of the investigative action;5) to revoke decisions taken unjustifiably and unlawfully by an official subordinatedthereto.Section 32. Executor of Procedural Tasks(1) An executor of procedural tasks shall be an official of an investigative institution,or a public prosecutor, who a person directing the proceedings has been assigned to carryout one or more investigative actions, without including him or her in the composition ofthe investigative group.(2) An executor of procedural tasks shall be liable for the qualitative execution of anassigned investigative action, and he or she has a duty to inform a person directing the11

proceedings regarding all facts that may be significant to the legal and fair completion ofcriminal proceedings.Section 33. Expert of an Expert-examination Institution(1) An expert of an expert-examination institution has authorisation to performcriminal proceedings if he or he has acquired the right to perform a specific types ofexpert-examination and has received a task of a person directing the proceedings.(2) An expert on the assignment of a person directing the proceedings shall:1) conduct an expert-examination, if a study has to be conducted in order to obtaininformation necessary for evidence using special knowledge, devices, and substances;2) perform inspections of the site of the event or other sites, the corpse, the terrain,and objects;3) conduct an examination of persons;4) remove samples for comparative research;5) participate in the performance of other investigative actions;6) utilise special knowledge for the discovery and removal of traces and other itemsof the criminal offence.(3) An expert has the right:1) to familiarise him or herself with the materials of the criminal case;2) to request from a person directing the proceedings the additional information andmaterials necessary for the performing of an expert-examination;3) to refuse to perform an expert-examination (give a conclusion), if the submittedmaterials are not sufficient or the questions posed exceed the competence thereof;4) to receive compensation for expenses that have come about in connection witharrival on the basis of the invitation of a person directing the proceedings.(4) An expert has the right to perform only the expert-examination specified in adecision and to provide answers to questions posed. If an expert is of the conclusion thathe or she may acquire information, utilising special knowledge, that is important to thecriminal proceedings, and regarding which a question has not been posed, he or she shallinform the person directing the proceedings regarding such acquisition in writing.(5) An expert shall perform his or her duties:1) on the basis of an instruction given by a person directing the proceedings that hasbeen recorded in the account of the investigative actions in which the expert is aparticipant.2) in accordance with a procedural decision regarding the determination of an expertexamination.Section 34. Invited Expert(1) A person directing the proceedings may invite, and assign with a decision, aperson to perform an expert-examination who is not an expert of an expert-examination12

institution, but whose knowledge and practical experience is sufficient for theperformance of the expert-examina

Chapter 1 Basic Provisions of Criminal Procedure. Section 1. Purpose of the Criminal Procedure Law . Section 4. Power of the Criminal Procedure Law in Time . The order of criminal proceedings shall be determined by the criminal procedure legal norm that is in effect at the moment of the performing of the procedural activity.

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