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The English version is an unofficial document! Be aware! The Criminal Procedure code in English is only a translation). The most reliable sources for Croatian law are written in the official language(s) of Croatia.



Although ethnic Croatians have a long history in the region as a distinct group, Croatia as an independent state is a relatively recent development. Prior to achieving full independence in 1991, Croatia was a constituent state of the Serb-dominated Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, itself a successor to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire before that. During the Second World War, a nominally independent Croatia existed as a puppet state to the Axis powers, but this was short-lived. Indeed, one has to go as far back as 1102 to find a fully self-governing Kingdom of Croatia. After the nation finally seceded from Yugoslavia and became the Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska), there followed nearly five years of war characterized by ethnic and religious strife, humanitarian rights abuses, and recriminations from both sides. Although the nation succeeded in maintaining its newly acquired status, the history of the Croatian war for independence and of the Yugoslav wars in general continues to cast a pall on international relations in the Balkans to this day.

Following its independence, Croatia rapidly sought to reforge itself as a market state, rewriting vast swathes of economic and business-oriented legislation. Other areas of law, such as family law, continue to be governed by measures passed during the era of socialist government, making today’s laws a mix of legislation from Yugoslavia, the Croatian Socialist Republic, and the present-day Republic of Croatia. Due in part to the nation’s shift to a market economy, it was among five Central European states invited to apply to join the European Union (EU) in 1997. After initiating the application process in 2003, Croatia finally acceded to the EU in July 2013.

The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (Ustav Republike Hrvatske), adopted in December 1990 and amended as recently as 2013, is, by range and the number of articles, one of the shortest in the EU. It establishes Croatia as a unitary, democratic, and social state, prioritizing freedom, equal rights, national and gender equality, love of peace, social justice, respect for human rights, the inviolability of ownership, conservation of nature and the environment, the rule of law and a democratic, multiparty system as the highest values of the constitutional order. It is the responsibility of the Constitutional Court (Ustavni sud Republike Hrvatske) to interpret and protect the tenets of the constitution, to which end it can overturn laws, agency decisions, and even rulings by the Supreme Court. The Human Freedom Index of 2019 placed Croatia at rank 37 in overall score, up six ranks compared to the 2016-2017 report (by comparison, the U.S. was at rank 15). Though both economic and personal freedoms reportedly improved, areas continuing to cause concern included respect for the rule of law, judicial independence, impartiality of the courts, and trust in law enforcement. According to Human Rights Watch, Croatia’s treatment of migrants at the border, increasingly frequent acts of intolerance against minorities, and historical revisionism regarding Croatia’s role in the Holocaust remain further issues.

Croatia is divided first into 20 counties (županije) and one city-county (grad - the capital, Zagreb), and then further into 556 cities and municipalities (gradovi and općine). Courts of general jurisdiction exist in three tiers. At the bottom, there are the municipal courts (općinski sudovi) generally the first to hear both civil and criminal cases. The next tier up consists of the county courts (županijski sudovi), which not only hear appeals from municipal court decisions, but also act as the court of first instance for more severe criminal cases (i.e. those where the penalty may exceed twelve years’ imprisonment). Finally there is the Supreme Court (Vrhovni sud Republike Hrvatske) which sits in Zagreb and is the court of last resort, having the authority to reverse or modify any decisions made by the lower courts. In addition to the regular courts, there are a number of courts which have jurisdiction over more specialized cases: commercial courts, administrative courts, and the already mentioned Constitutional Court. Those convicted of criminal offenses are detained in 23 prison facilities managed by the Ministry of Justice, Administration, and Local Government. As of 2018, there were some 3,228 inmates serving time in Croatian facilities.

Criminal law in Croatia is currently governed by the Constitution, the Criminal Code (Kazneni zakon) of 2011 (last amended in 2019), and the Criminal Procedure Code (Zakon o kaznenom postupku) of 1997 (last amended in 2019), abbreviated in this profile as Const., CC, and CPC respectively. Detention of criminal offenders is governed by the Execution of Prison Sentence Act (Zakon o izvršavanju kazne zatvora - hereafter, “EPSA”).

Type of system

Due in part to its former status as a member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Croatia uses a civil law system influenced by German and Austrian models. The law is codified into constantly updated written statutes and codes which establish legal procedure, elements of crimes, and the penalties accorded to those who commit them. In a civil law system, judges establish the facts of a case and then apply penalties in accordance with the written law, placing far less emphasis on precedent than would be the case in a common law system.

The Legal Aid Situation in the Country

i. State Sponsored Legal Aid Legal aid is regulated by the Law on Free Legal Aid (Zakon o besplatnoj pravnoj pomoći, Link), in force from 2013. Recipients can include Croatian citizens, unaccompanied non-citizen children, foreigners who are temporary or non-permanent residents, foreigners under temporary protection, undocumented migrants and those awaiting deportation decisions, and asylum seekers and legally residing family members. Unless otherwise provided in the act, providers of primary legal aid (administrative bodies, authorized associations, and legal clinics) may not refuse to provide aid. Primary legal aid can be provided in any legal matter if the applicant lacks sufficient knowledge to exercise their rights; the applicant has not already been provided aid through other regulations; the request is not manifestly unfounded; and the circumstances of the applicant are such that payment of professional fees could jeopardize their livelihood. (Art. 10). Services covered by primary legal aid include provision of general legal information; legal advice; the drawing up of submissions before public bodies, the European Court of Human Rights, and international organizations; representation in proceedings before public bodies; and legal assistance in out-of-court dispute settlement. (Art. 9). Secondary legal aid is more limited and applies generally to civil and administrative proceedings. Legal aid in the context of a cross-border dispute applies only to various civil, administrative, and commercial matters. Legal aid funds for authorized associations or institutions of higher education shall be approved on the basis of an approved project and provided for in the state budget.

ii. If No State Sponsored Legal Aid Exists, Mention Existing NGOs Providing Pro Bono Legal Aid N/A (State-sponsored legal aid exists)

iii. Number of Lawyers (Criminal/Civil) if Known Practicing attorneys in Croatia must be members of the Croatian Bar Association (Hrvatska odvjetnička komora). As of July 2020, the Association’s website lists 4,833 accredited lawyers and 1,448 trainee-lawyers.

Sources of Defendant’s Rights

i. National Sources of Defendant’s Rights Defendants’ rights are protected by the Croatian Constitution (“Const.”), the Criminal Procedure Code (“CPC”), and the Execution of Prison Sentence Act (“EPSA”).

ii. International Sources of Defendant’s Rights Const. Art. 134: International law is incorporated into the Croatian legal system and international agreements specifically “shall be above law in terms of legal effects.” Croatia is a state-party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Rome Statute for an International Criminal Court, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Pre-trial phase

Police Procedures

i. Complaint/Information

CPC Art. 204: State authorities and legal entities are required to report criminal offences subject to public prosecution about which they have learned. When submitting a crime report, state authorities and legal entities must indicate the evidence known to them and take measures to preserve traces of the offence. Citizens are also bound to report criminal offences, and whether or not failure to report constitutes an offence shall be governed by law. (see CC Arts. 301-302). Data about the individual suspected or which might lead to conclusions about the identity of the suspect must be kept confidential. CPC Art. 205: Reports can be filed with a competent State Attorney orally, in writing, or by other means. Individuals making oral reports will be warned of the consequences of submitting a false report. Where the report is done through electronic means, a recording shall be made. Other authorities who lack jurisdiction are required to forward complaints to State Attorneys. CPC Art. 206: If the State Attorney dismisses a crime report, they must do so with a statement of reasons and notify the injured person within eight days of the dismissal. If the State Attorney cannot determine whether the allegation is credible, they shall order the police authorities to obtain information required for such a determination if they cannot do so themselves. The police authorities are bound to proceed in accordance with the order of the State Attorney and shall notify them of any measures taken within 30 days of the request for an inquiry. The State Attorney can request that authorities temporarily take objects, documents, etc. which may serve as evidence, with non-compliant persons and entities subject to fines. The State Attorney may also summon the person who filed the crime report and any persons whose statements they believe will contribute to the assessment of the allegation’s credibility. If it is unclear what crime is being alleged, then the person making the report may be summoned to correct and supplement it (within 15 days).

i. Arrest, Search and Seizure Laws

● Stops and Frisks CPC Art. 241: While “stop and frisk” procedures are not specifically mentioned anywhere in the CPC, searches of persons must generally be carried out in a manner as to preserve the dignity of the searched person. CPC Art. 244: Warrantless searches may be conducted, without notification of rights (per CPC Art. 239(1)) or a request that materials be handed over (per CPC Art. 243(2), if armed resistance is expected, if it is required to carry out a search by surprise (i.e. in cases of serious offences or organized crime), if the search is to be carried out on public premises, if there is concern that announcing the search will lead to the hiding or destruction of potential evidence, if there is concern that the person conducting the search would be endangered, or if the owner or possessor of an immovable object is unreachable. CPC Art. 246: Warrantless searches may also be carried out when authorities are investigating the site of a committed offence immediately or at least eight hours after the offence was discovered.

● Arrests The police can pursue an arrest in the following circumstances: when there is an order requiring a person to appear in court, when there is a court order requiring a pretrial detention or investigative detention, when a there is grounds for suspicion that someone committed a criminal offense punishable by at least 3 years of imprisonment, if a crime is being prosecuted ex officio, when investigatory detention is prescribed by law, and when a person is caught in the process of committing an offense. (CPC Art. 107). When officers perform an arrest, they must inform each arrestee of the following: the reason for the arrest (in terms that person can understand), the right of arrestee not to testify, the right of the arrestee to legal assistance based of his/her choosing, and the right of the arrestee to command the authorities to notify designated persons of his/her arrest. (CPC Art. 7).

● Pre-trial Detention There must be a written ruling justifying pre-trial detention for any person suspected to have committed an offense punishable for greater than three years which must be delivered to the State Attorney. (CPC Art. 112(1)). Moreover, any pre-trial investigative detention can only be justified if there are circumstances indicating the arrestee will flee, repeat or complete the criminal offence, destroy evidence pertinent to upcoming legal proceedings, commit another crime, is accused of a crime with serious circumstances and a long-term prison sentence, if a defendant evades appearance at trial. (CPC Art. 123). Rulings on the validity of pre-trial detention are subject to appeal within 6 hours and the judge shall decide on the appeal within 8 hours. (CPC Art. 112(4)). Pre-trial detention may not last longer than 48 hours without a subsequent order from a judge. (CPC Art. 112(5)). Detainees are entitled to 8 hours of rest every 24 hours and medical care. (CPC Art. 115). Consular officials and diplomats have a right to visit and communicate with their fellow citizens, and assist them in retaining a legal defense. (CPC Act. 116).

● Searches Pursuant to CPC Art. 243(1), before a search of a person’s private property or body, law enforcement must produce a warrant for that search and present that warrant. A warrant must designate the subject of a search, the purpose of the search, the authority which shall carry out the search. (CPC Art. 242(1)). Searching private property is justified in pursuit of the perpetrator or to retrieve or look for objects or traces important for the legal process. (CPC Art. 240(2)). During the search of a dwelling, all spatially connected rooms may be searched, including, all moveable property and persons found at the dwelling. (CPC Art. 252(1), (3)). When law enforcement searches a person, they have a duty to preserve the dignity of the searched person and should limit disturbance to that person and the violation of their property. (CPC Art. 241(1)-(2)). During a body search law enforcement can search clothes, footwear, the surface of the body, and moveable property carried by the person. (CPC Art. 251(1)). People being searched are entitled to be searched by an authority of the same sex unless this is not possible due to the circumstances of the search. (CPC Art. 251(2)). However, a search warrant is not needed when the subject of the search is a natural, public, or abandoned place. (CPC Art. 240(3)). Moreover, a warrant does not need to be presented beforehand when armed resistance is expected; a surprise search is justified (in instances of there is a serious crime at issue, committed by a group or a criminal organization, or who is connected with a person from abroad); the search is to be carried out on public premises; there is doubt that prior announcement could lead to the hiding, destruction, and damaging of evidence; there is doubt that prior announcement could threaten the safety of the person carrying out the search; the owner or inhabitant of the dwelling is unavailable. (CPC Art. 244).

● Enforcing the Rules (Exclusionary Rule, Nullity and Other Procedures to Protect Against Illegal Police Procedures) Evidence illegally obtained shall not be admissible in court proceedings. (Const. Art. 29). Hence, Court decisions cannot be justified based on illegally obtained evidence. (CPC Art. 10). Illegal evidence is obtained by torture, cruel treatement, or inhuman treatment; through a violation of fundamental human rights to defence, dignity, reputation, honour and inviolability of private and family life; by violating criminal procedure; or obtained through illegal evidence. (CPC Art. 10(2)). The Criminal Code contains a number of relevant offences that can be committed by state officials during the criminal process: CC Art.298 : unlawful search; CC Art. 136: unlawful deprivation of liberty; CC Art. 297: extortion of statements by coercion; CC Art. 291: maltreatment in the execution of duty or public authority; CC Art. 142: violating the privacy of correspondence and other pieces of mail; and CC Art. 143: unauthorized recording and eavesdropping.

ii. Lineups and Other Identification Procedures

● CPC Art. 301: Lineups are not specifically mentioned in the CPC; however, it does cover identification of persons generally. Identification of a person is determined through comparison with other people. Prior to any line-up, the person performing the identification will be asked whether they have been shown the subject of the identification after the observation period and prior to identification and whether they are aware of any circumstances that might affect the identification. They will then be asked to describe the subject of the identification with as much detail as possible, note how the subject can be distinguished from others, and describe how they initially observed the individual. They shall then be shown the subject of the identification along with other, unknown persons. Identifications of this type can also be carried out remotely via audio or video recording devices, if the written attempt of the person conducting the identification is obtained. Identifications by the defendant are conducted pursuant to CPC Arts. 273 and 275, while those carried out by witnesses are governed by CPC Art. 288(2)-(4). The entire process shall be recorded.

● CPC Art. 302 stipulates that identifications may also be carried out under conditions and in a manner specified by an international treaty.

● Where there is a justified fear that the individual making the identification may be jeopardized by being exposed by the process, CPC Art. 303 mandates that measures be taken to ensure that the person being identified can neither see nor hear them. It also stipulates that citizens are obliged to personally participate when summoned for an identification and will be fined if there is no justifiable reason for their absence.

● Other Identification Procedures,

● CPC Arts. 301-303 govern identification for objects and other non-person entities. In most respects, the same rules apply to identifications of non-person entities as apply to identifications of people.

iii. Interrogation

● Before Formal Charge in Court During an interrogation, a defendant’s person must be fully respected. (CPC Art. 276(1)). The defendant shall be interrogated orally and be permitted to take notes. (CPC Art. 276(2)). During the interrogation, the defendant has a right to comment on all circumstances of the case and present facts supporting his/her defense. (CPC Art. 276(3)). After the Defendant completes his/her formal statement, the defendant will be asked questions to fill in gaps, clarify ambiguities, and avoid contradictions. (CPC Art. 276(4)). It is not permissible to use threats, coercion, or deceit to elicit a confession. (CPC Art. 276(5)).

● Instruction on Rights The Defendant shall be notified of his/her rights, including, notification of the charges against him/her, the right to remain silent, the right to present a defence or to not do so, the right to examine evidence against him/her, and the right to legal counsel. (CPC Art. 239(1)).

● Enforcing the Rules (procedures to protect against illegal interrogation) Evidence illegally obtained shall not be admissible in court proceedings. (Const. Art. 29), (CPC Art. 10). Illegal evidence is obtained by torture, cruel treatement, or inhuman treatment; through a violation of fundamental human rights to defence, dignity, reputation, honour and inviolability of private and family life; by violating criminal procedure; or obtained through illegal evidence. (CPC Art. 10(2)).

	Right to Counsel

The defendant has the right to have a counsel. (Const. Art. 29; CPC Art. 5, 64(4)-(7)). Detainees have a right to communicate with their defense counsel freely and without supervision. (CPC Art. 114).

Rights of the Accused at all Time

a.  Criminal Law System

i. Double Jeopardy No one shall be tried twice for the same crime when a final judgement has been pronounced for that crime. (CPC Art. 12(1)).

ii. Legality Principle Before the judgment becomes final, the freedom and other rights if the defendant may only be restricted pursuant to the conditions stipulated by law. (CPC Art. (1)).

iii. Presumption of Innocence Defendants shall be presumed innocent unless guilt can be proven by a final court judgment. (Const. Art. 28; CPC Art. 3).

iv. Standards of Proof and Standards for Conviction If there is doubt about whether the facts of a particular case satisfy the elements of a crime, the court should decide in favor of the defendant. (CPC Art. 3(2)).

v. Procedure with Witnesses The examination of witnesses is covered by CPC Arts. 283-300. CPC Art. 283 defines those who qualify as witnesses. CPC Arts. 284-285 define individuals who may not testify (e.g. the defence counsel) or who may be exempted from the duty to do so (e.g. spouses, blood relatives, etc.). CPC Arts. 286, 294-297 protect witnesses from giving testimony that would expose them or their close relatives to criminal prosecution, serious disgrace, or considerable material damage. CPC Art. 287 regulates the means by which witnesses are called upon to appear. CPC Art. 288 specifies the testimony procedure. CPC Art. 289 defines the kind of information all witnesses will be called upon to give as well as what defines permissible and impermissible questions. CPC Art. 290 covers the use of interpreters during testimony. CPC Art. 291 lays out the consequences of refusing to appear before the court. CPC Art. 292 governs the treatment of minors as well as those who, by reason of old age or poor health, cannot physically testify at the court. CPC Art. 293 allows for witness examination to be carried out under the conditions and in the manner specified by an international treaty. CPC Art. 298 stipulates that the verdict cannot be based solely on testimony acquired under the protective measures laid out in CPC Arts. 296-297. CPC Art. 300 specifies the cases in which witness testimony may not be used as evidence in the proceedings.

vi. Capital Punishment Offenders have a right to life, hence, capital punishment is prohibited in Croatia. (Const. Art. 21).

vii. Ex Post Facto Punishment In general, laws, regulations, and decrees shall not have retroactive effect, however, there are special exceptions. (Const. Art. 88, 90).

b.	Fair Trial Rights

i. Freedom from Prolonged Pre-trial Detention Pre-trial detention cannot last longer than 48 hours without a possibility of extension to collect evidence. (CPC Art. 112(5)).

ii. Freedom from Punishment No one shall be deprived of liberty except based on a court decision in accordance of law. (Const. Art. 22).

iii. Right to Counsel The defendant has a right to legal representation. (Const. Art. 29; CPC Arts. 5, 65. CPC Art. 66: A defence counsel must be present from the first interrogation if the defendant is mute, deaf, or otherwise unable to defend themselves or if the proceeding is conducted for an offence for which a regular proceeding is prescribed. A defendant must also have the defence counsel present if they remain without a defence counsel because the right of the defence counsel to action and representation has been deprived by a decision, if an investigation is initiated for an offence punishable by long-term imprisonment, or if the defendant is subject to pre-trial or investigative detention.

iv. Right to Habeas Corpus The accused shall retain the right to challenge any arrest or detention. (Const. Art. 24).

v. Right to Medical Care CPC Art. 115: During pre-trial detention, a detention supervisor shall take care of necessary medical assistance and care of the detainee. CPC Art. 119: A defendant subject to home detention may be granted leave by the court to depart their home for a certain period of time if necessary for medical treatment. CPC Art. 135: Defendants for whom investigative detention is ordered shall, by decision of the prison administrator, be committed to a hospital for persons deprived of freedom or an adequate psychiatric institution where they shall be given proper medical care.

vi. Right to a Fair Trial Defendants have a right to a fair public trial. (Const. Art. 29).

vii. Right to Notice of Charges Defendants have a right to be informed of the charges against them. (Const. Art. 29).

viii. Right to Non Self-incrimination The suspected, arrested, and prosecuted shall not be forced to confess guilt. (Const. Art. 29).

ix. Right to a Speedy Trial Defendants have a right to be tried within a reasonable term. (Const. Art. 29).

x. Right to a Trial by Jury In Croatia, the legal system does not provide for the right of a trial by a jury.

xi. Right to Impartial judge It is a fundamental right to have an impartial judge during a trial. (CPC Art. 11(1)).

xii. Right to Appeal Defendants have a right to appeal. (Const. Art. 18; CPC Art. 463-464).

c.	Ways to Protect Rights

i. Exclusionary Rule or Nullity of Procedure Evidence obtained based on racial discrimination or induced by medication may not be used as trial. (CPC Art. 6). Court decisions cannot be based on illegal evidence, which includes evidence obtained by torture and inhumane treatment, by undermining a person’s human dignity, or by violating the Criminal Procedure Code. (CPC Art. 10). Moreover, once evidence has been declared, all further evidence that derives from the initial discovery of illegal evidence is illegal as well. (CPC Art. 10).

ii. Civil Action Claims for indemnification may be considered in criminal proceedings. (CPC Art. 153). This procedure is laid out in Chapter XI of the CPC.

iii. Criminal Prosecution Based on Motions Criminal prosecution can be initiated on a motion if the motion is submitted within three months from when a person learns of the offense and the perpetrator. (CPC Art. 47).

Rights in Prison

i. Basic Rights During Confinement

Every detainee has a right to dignified treatment, protection of their data and personal information, food and water, work, training, expert legal assistance, medical care, contact with the outside world, spend two hours a day outside, communication with his/her attorney, exercise of religion, get married, the right vote, etc. (EPSA Art. 14). Beyond the rights set forth in EPSA Art. 14, EPSA Art. 10 prohibits discmination during imprisonment on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social origin, wealth, birth, training, social position, or other characteristics. EPSA Art. 15 gives prisoners the right to file complaints regarding their treatment while EPSA Art. 16 governs legal protections in disciplinary proceedings.

ii. Immigrant Detention

EPSA makes no specific reference to the detention of immigrants. However, some articles do speak to the treatment of foreign inmates. EPSA Art. 123: Consular and diplomatic representatives may visit inmates who are citizens of their country. EPSA Art. 174(2): Foreign citizens can, through international treaties or some reciprocal arrangement, choose to serve their sentence in their own country. EPSA Art. 10 establishes that execution of must not be subject to discrimination on the basis of, inter alia, race and national or social origin. The Foreigners Act of 2011 (“FA” - Link) addresses immigrant detention more directly, with FA Arts. 123-138 addressing restrictions on the movements of foreigners and detention in the Reception Center for Foreigners. However, the Act pertains more directly to immigration law than to the post-judgment execution of prison sentences.

iii. Right to Medical Care in Prison

EPSA Art. 103: Inmates shall be granted medical treatment and regular care for their physical health. Infirmaries in detention facilities must be equipped in compliance with health regulations and must keep a supply of necessary medications on hand. EPSA Arts. 104-116 cover technical aspects of prison and jail healthcare, such as examination by specialists, accommodation for treatment, provision of prosthetics, etc. as well as more specialized categories of healthcare, such as mental, maternity, and dental care.

iv. Mental Health Care

EPSA Art. 103: Inmates shall be granted medical treatment and regular care for their mental health. EPSA Art. 112: Those determined by experts to be mentally ill or who display severe mental difficulties during their sentence may be directed to a psychiatric institution per Arts. 22 and 28 of the Law on the Protection of Persons Suffering Mental Difficulties. Costs for such accommodation and treatment shall be borne by the state and placement in the institution shall last no longer than until the end of the prison sentence. Time undergoing treatment counts towards completion of the sentence and, where treatment is completed prior to the end of the sentence, the executing judge shall decide whether normal detention shall continue.

v. Restriction of Rights

EPSA Art. 3: While inmates enjoy the protection of the fundamental rights established by the Constitution, international agreements, and the law, these may be limited to the extent necessary for the achievement of the purpose of punishment, subject to EPSA. Rights can only be restricted exceptionally, if it is necessary for the protection of order and security in the detention facility or the safety of other inmates. Any restrictions shall be proportional to the goals of the restrictions.

vi. Women’s Rights in Prison

EPSA Art. 11(3): Male and female prisoners are to serve their sentences separately. EPSA Art. 33(2): Security of detention facilities for women shall be carried out by female members of the supervision sector or department. EPSA Art. 54 (3): A convict may apply to have her prison sentence postponed if she is pregnant with less than six months remaining before delivery or if she is going through a hazardous pregnancy. EPSA Art. 111(1): Pregnant women and mothers who have delivered a child during detention shall be ensured complete medical protection as relates to pregnancy, childbirth, and maternity. EPSA Arts. 111(2)-(4): Pregnant women shall be accommodated in either a detention facility maternity ward or in the nearest medical institution, and delivery must occur in a specialized healthcare institution. EPSA Arts. 111(5), (8): Children may remain with their mothers after their third birthday at the mother’s request and with a decision of a social welfare center. The social welfare center will undertake measures required for the accommodation of the child while the detention facility will provide for its professional care and healthcare. The detention facility shall ensure that the child attends preschool outside of the prison or jail. EPSA Art. 111(6): Pregnant inmates (and, following delivery, the mother and child) shall have the right to weekly visits by family members. EPSA Art. 111(7): Medical doctors shall determine tasks of pregnant inmates or those who have just delivered until the child’s third birthday.

Court Procedures

a.	Pre-Trial

i. Charging Instrument The criminal proceedings shall commence by confirming the indictment, scheduling a trial, and by pronouncing a judgment on issuing a criminal order. (CPC Art. 17).

ii. Preliminary Hearing The procedures for preliminary hearings are outlined in Chapter XX(2) of the CPC.

iii. Pre-Trial Motions No specific data.

iv. Discovery The defense counsel has the right to inspect, copy, or record the evidence files. (CPC Art. 74).

b.	Trial

i. Nature of the Trial Chapter II of the Serbian Criminal Procedure Code specifies the composition of trial panels. Chapter II(2) delineates the territorial jurisdiction of the courts. While Article 19 of the CPC stipulates that subject matter jurisdiction and court composition shall be determined by distinct legislation.

ii. Defendant The rights of the defendant are listed in CPC Article 64.

iii. Lawyers The rights of the defense counsel are listed in CPC Chapter VI(2).

iv. Expert Witnesses During a trial, the main role of an expert witness is to evaluate and establish facts based on knowledge in their specific field. (CPC Art. 308). Before testifying, expert witnesses are asked to (1) examine the object of testimony; (2) indicate everything he/she knows or discovers about that object, and (3) give his/her opinion without bias and in conformity with the rules of the pertinent science or skill. (CPC Art. 312(1)). If the expert’s findings are unclear, incomplete, or contradictory, then the same or different expert will provide a new opinion. (CPC Art. 317).

v. Victims CPC Art. 43 governs the rights of victims throughout the criminal process. Victims are entitled to access psychological and other expert help in recovering from the offence, to participate in criminal proceedings as an injured person, and other rights that may be prescribed by law. Where the crime is one that can be punished for a term of five years or more, victims of a criminal offence shall have a right to counsel at the expense of the court before giving testimony or while submitting claims for indemnification for severe injuries, as well as a right to compensation for material and immaterial damages. CPC Art. 51 offers entitlements to injured parties during criminal proceedings. They are entitled to communicate in their native language (and be assisted by a translator), to file a claim for indemnification; to have a legal guardian; to point out facts and suggest evidence; to be present at the evidentiary hearing; to be present at the hearing, participate in evidentiary proceedings, and make a closing statement; to inspect documents and files; to file a motion for prosecution and a private charge; to be informed of criminal charges that are dismissed or that the State Attorney decides not to proceed with; to take over prosecution from the state Attorney; to request that the case be reverted to an earlier state; and to be informed of the outcome of criminal proceedings.

c.	Sentencing

CPC Arts. 448-450 govern the rendering of a judgment following deliberation and voting. CPC Arts. 451-455 regulate the types of judgments that can be rendered. CPC Arts. 456-457 stipulate how the judgment is to be pronounced. Finally, CPC Arts. 458-462 detail how judgements are to be drawn up and served. The written judgment generally includes an introduction, the ordering part (outlining which offences the accused is or is not guilty of), and the reasons for the judge’s finding on each count. (CPC Art. 459(1)-(5)). If a punishment is to be issued, the statement of reasons shall indicate circumstances taken into account in fixing the terms of punishment. (CPC Art. 459(6)). When issuing a fine, suspended sentence, or admonition of the accused, the written judgment does not need to include a statement of reasons. (CPC Art. 460).

d.	Appeals

i. General The right to appeal is stipulated in CPC Art. 463. The procedure for the right of appeal is delineated throughout Chapter XXIII of the CPC, including who may file an appeal, what the contents of an appeal contain, and the grounds for challenging a judgement.

ii. Right to Counsel The right to counsel as described above applies in the same way to the appellate procedure.

iii. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel The CPC does not regulate ineffective assistance of counsel. However, the Criminal Code establishes breach of trust as a crime-i.e. failure to carry out one’s statutory duty in representing the property interests of a person-as a crime that can be committed by attorneys. (CC Art. 240).

iv. Grounds for Appeal CPC Art. 467: A judgment may be challenged for substantive violation of the criminal procedure provisions; for violation of the Criminal Code; for erroneous or incomplete determination of the factual situation; or in regard to the criminal sanctions, confiscation of pecuniary benefit, costs of criminal proceedings, claims for indemnification, as well as the decision to publish the judgment in the media. CPC Art. 468 defines what qualifies as a substantive violation of criminal procedure, while CPC Art. 469 defines violations of the Criminal Code. CPC Art. 470 covers challenges on the grounds of erroneous or incomplete determination of the factual situation. Finally, CPC Art. 471 regulates appeals against criminal sanctions, pecuniary damages, etc.

v. Collateral Remedies (Habeas etc…) CPC Art. 14: Someone unjustifiably convicted or arrested shall be entitled to full rehabilitation, compensation from budget funds, and other rights established by law.



Croatian Law on execution of sanctions: Croatian Criminal Procedure Code: 2019 version (Croatian): Criminal Code (2019): Croatian Constitution:

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