The Regulation on the Determination and Implementation of Investigation, Prosecution or Trial Target Deadlines ("Regulation") was published on 23 June 2017 by the Ministry of Justice ("Ministry") and the entered into force on 1 September 2017.
Scope of the Regulation
The Regulation provides for judicial trial target deadlines, thereby establishing an action management system that sets target deadlines for different cases and prosecution processes to shorten trials and prosecutions. The target deadline system ("System") may be seen as a reflection of the right to a fair trial, which is set under the Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Implementation of the System
The implementation of the System began on 3 September 2018 for judges and on 1 October 2018 for prosecutors. Since 1 January 2019, litigants have been notified of the determined target deadlines. In this way, litigants will learn how long it will take to complete the investigation, trial or proceedings. In other respects, the deadlines will be announced separately from the Ministry website. It is crucial to state that the target deadlines will not be applied to lawsuits and investigations opened before 3 September 2018 and 1 October 2018.
The target deadlines of one thousand four hundred and thirty-eight (1438) different actions and two-hundred-twenty (220) criminal offenses have been determined. The deadlines introduced are as follows:
|For all criminal actions||between ten (10) and thirteen (13) months|
|Eighty-seven percent (87%) of lawsuits||below eighteen (18) months|
|Other lawsuits||up to two (2) years|
Access to Target Deadlines
Judges and public prosecutors will be able to see the target deadlines for each case or type of investigation on the National Judiciary Informatics System application screen.
Litigants will be notified of the target deadlines ex officio from 1 January 2019.
Litigants, including defendants, plaintiffs, complainants, offenders and defenders, will be notified of the target deadlines in the documents prepared during the investigation and prosecution phases.
Exceeding Target Deadlines
If a target deadline is exceeded for a case, the reasons for delaying the case will be entered in the "reasons for delay" screen. By this means, an empirical method for determining the causes of delays to investigations and prosecutions will be established and solutions generated.
No sanction has been foreseen for exceeding the target deadlines. The deadlines have not been implemented to penalize judges and prosecutors but to figure out why the deadlines are mostly exceeded and how to prevent long trials.
The target deadlines have been determined as time limits for trials and prosecutions and will undoubtedly lead to trials and prosecutions being completed in less time.
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.