Effective Defence Rights in the Finnish Criminal Procedure
Matti J. Tolvanen
University of Eastern Finland
January 16, 2012
University of Eastern Finland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 4
The roles of the judge, the attorneys and the prosecutor changed dramatically in 1997 when reform concerning criminal matters was enacted. The prosecutor is now an active party to the case, ensuring the implementation of criminal liability and actively promoting the progress of the proceedings. It is the duty of the prosecutor to prove the charge, by procuring sufficient evidence in support of the charge and by presenting it to the court. The court itself is neutral; it does not support or assist the prosecutor. One may say that the main tasks of the judge in a criminal case are to (formally) safeguard a fair trial, and to decide the case by reflecting the evidence that the prosecutor and the attorneys have procured and presented to the court. Communication, co-operation, interaction and a fair trial as a whole are the main features of Finnish criminal procedure.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 16, 2012
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