On July 13th,2001, Ecuador enacted a new Code of Penal Procedure, which seeks to introduce a new procedural system for judgement in public action cases.

The new Code provides for the following procedural stages:

  • The Fiscal Instruction Stage (Investigative).
  • An intermediary Stage.
  • The Judgement Stage, and
  • The Opposition Stage.

The main objective of the new procedural rules are to leave to the public prosecution the pre-trial and trial investigative efforts and to leave to the Judge, the sole function of passing judgement.

It follows that the objective is to clearly separate the specific spheres in a penal case: The instruction (investigation) which is to be handled by the Fiscal Agents, as representatives of the Public Prosecution and of Society and the sphere of judgement which belongs exclusively to the Penal Judge, who will act on the basis of the investigations conducted by the Prosecution.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.