Legal Aspects of Review of Valid Rulings in Criminal Proceedings in Connection with Significant Violations of Substantive or Procedural Provisions of the Law
Keywords:Criminal Proceedings, Valid Court Ruling, Review of Court Judgements, Fair Trial, Persons Involved in Criminal Proceedings
The aim of this article is to review the existing discipline of legal institutes in connection with significant violations of substantive or procedural legal norms and its significance in criminal proceedings in the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania, their common and different features, problems and case law. The basis of the research is the analysis of regulatory enactments, court rulings, findings and opinions. The research is based on analytical and synthesis methods study of the correlations and differences in the legal regulation of criminal procedural law, comparative method comparison of specific legal regulations in the criminal procedural law of the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania. The analytical method has been used to research, clarify and then evaluate the content of legal principles, terms, legal norms. The method has also been used to analyse court decisions. This method makes it possible to identify the main issues at stake in the content of specific legal provisions and to highlight their novelty, relevance or shortcomings. Statistical data processing methods have also been used in the research to collect and analyse data on a specific category of criminal cases in the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania. The study analyses the case law of the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania in cases where rulings have been re-examined after their entry into force. Data on such cases are summarised in four illustrations (figures). During the study, it has been established that the regulation of criminal procedure for the review of a judgement after its entry into force is similar in both countries, but the results of the reviewed cases are different. The criminal procedure regulations of the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Lithuania, which provide for a new review of existing rulings if there exist significant violations of substantive or procedural law, are important to reach a fair decision by eliminating such significant violations committed by courts of first instance or appellate courts. Consequently, justice is achieved and the person’s right to a fair trial is ensured. However, a balance must also be struck between how to ensure the legal force of a valid judgement in accordance with the principle of res judicata, and how to guarantee the rights of individuals to a fair trial. When reviewing an existing decision, the Supreme Court must consider the balance between ensuring the legal force of a valid court judgement in accordance with the principle of res judicata, and guaranteeing the rights of individuals to a fair trial if significant violations of substantive or procedural norms of law come to the fore after the judgement has entered into force.
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