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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73961 Find in a Library
Title: To Be Judged With a Reasonable Delay - Reflections on the Control of Admissibility of Public Action
Journal: Revue de science criminelle et de droit penal compare  Issue:1  Dated:(January March 1980)  Pages:77-100
Author(s): R Genin-Meric
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 24
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: Factors influencing the process of making a judgement with a reasonable delay in the French judicial system are discussed.
Abstract: According to provisions of the European convention for the Protection of Human Rights, every individual has the right to be judged with a reasonable delay. In practice, determining criteria for the reasonable duration of the procedure is difficult. Time must be allocated for preparation of a defense for the examination of the case by the judge. Theoretically, the judge's decision about the admissibility of public action must be made promptly at the start of the case, but in practice admissibility decisions are only possible after the judge's inquiry into the case is underway. The reformed law of civil procedure therefore permits the defense to propose estoppel at any point in the case; the judge may decide whether the defender's declaration is warranted. Legal distinctions are also made between manifest and hidden inadmissibility and between criminal proceedings before the court and those based on information procedure before the judge has reached a decision on admissibility and that the accused has little power to bring about or to deny an admissibility decision even if he or she is being unjustly prosecuted. According to French law, the examining judge may declare a case inadmissible immediately if grounds for prosecution are clearly insufficient or if irregularities are discovered in the proceedings. The highest appeals court, which oversees the examining magistrates' decisions not to examine, seeks to restrict itself to suppositions entirely characteristic of inadmissibility. At the close of the preliminary examination, the examining judge must decide whether the suit should be transferred to a jurisdiction for judgement and prepare briefs for the transfer. Unfortunately, the decision about the admissibility of public action is not influenced by any real debate, as the accused does not have the right to be heard on that issue. Furthermore, the accused does not have the right to discuss the decision with the judge who is sending him or her to trial. Notes are supplied. -- in French.
Index Term(s): Background investigations; France; Judges; Judicial discretion; Judicial process; Pretrial procedures; Rights of the accused
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