The legal protection of the interests of persons who have not committed criminal offences in the case of criminal procedural infringements - when and where the State draws the lines

AuthorRija Meikali?a - Krist?ne Strada-rozenberga
PositionArija Meikali?a - the Faculty of Law, the University of Latvia, Latvia, Krist?ne Strada-Rozenberga - the Faculty of Law, the University of Latvia, Latvia, Kristine.
The legal protection of the interests of persons who have not
committed criminal offences in the case of criminal procedural
infringements when and where the State draws the lines
Dr. iur., professor rija MEIKALIŠA1
Dr. iur., professor Kristne STRADA-ROZENBERGA2
The contemporar y criminal proceedings a re characterised by the fact tha t increasingly
more often a longside the interests of p ersons directly linked to a criminal offence also the economic
interests of other per sons are infringed upon, through the expansion of the institution of the so-called
mechanism of confiscation of pr operty not based on sentencing, etc. The a rticle focuses on the legal
protection of these persons and the relevant issues of it. The ar ticle examines the issues of the circle
of persons, who due to the infringement on their economic rights have the r ights but have not been
granted the rights of an active participant of the criminal proceedings, as well as the scope of rights
of these persons as pa rticipants of criminal proceedings. In difference to deciding on the issue “guilty
or innocent”, which both on the national and the international level has a relatively strictly enshrined
model, in deciding on the so-called “secondary” or “consequential” issues, a strict model like this is
absent. Hence, the State should decide on the matter of how to ensure full legal pr otection to persons
if their rights have been restricted. Undeniably, also in this case, the requir ements rega rding a fair
procedure should be met. However, the matter, whether and if to what extent various rights
should be granted in the fra mework of criminal proceedings, needs to be discussed. The article, ba sed
on the ana lysis of the Latvian experience, outlines so me lines of discussion and pr ovides the authors
assessment of the possible development thereof. The issues tha t are raised by the Latvian d iscussion
might be useful for crea ting and developing discussion also in other states.
Keywords: criminal pr ocedure, infringement on economic interests, lega l protection.
JEL Classification: K14, K29, K41, K42
1. Introduction
The society predominantly associates the words “criminal law” and
“criminal procedure” with a criminal offence that has been committed, with a
perpetrator who should be found and punished. Personal observations show that for
a long time this perception prevailed not only among people unconnected to
jurisprudence but also in a large part of lawyers who often have distanced
themselves from the field of criminal law believing that it is pronouncedly separate
and unrelated to daily life. However, recent developments have brought fast
changes into this attitude and the majority of lawyers are becoming aware that
criminal law has become an indispensable part of not only of daily but also
commercial life. This is clearly confirmed by the rapid development of a new line
1 rija Meikališa - the Faculty of Law, the University of Latvia, Latvia,
2 Kristne Strada-Rozenberga - the Faculty of Law, the University of Latvia, Latvia, Kristine.Strada-
Juridical Tribune Volume 8, Issue 3, December 2018 749
of research in legal science business criminal law, introduction of new study
courses into the study of law3 and even opening new study directions. This leads to
the conclusion that within the framework of this topic both the aspects of
substantive law and issues of criminal procedure need to be focused on since both
are of almost equal significance. This article, to the extent its scope allows, will
outline a number of situations that attract interest, in particular, the issues of
criminal procedure and the legal status of those persons whose economic (inter
alia, business) interests have been infringed upon in the course of criminal
proceedings. The first issue to be examined is whether the persons who have been
infringed on should or should not be ensured the status of an active participant in
the proceedings, and, the second, the scope of rights that the respective persons
should be granted.
Diverse methods have been used in preparing this article, which are typical
of research in legal science, analysis and synthesis of legal literature, case law
and regulatory enactments in order to reveal the model that is used in Latvia with
respect to the legal protection of the so-called “third persons” within the framework
of criminal proceedings; the analytical method the method was used in
researching the findings expressed in the legal doctrine and in case law, Latvian
and international legal acts, as well as other materials needed to reveal the topic;
the inductive and deductive method the inductive method was used to
substantiate the generalised conclusions that were made, in analysing concrete
cases from practice. The deductive method, in turn, was used, to reach conclusions,
following theoretical guidelines and general findings.
2. The infringement on a person’s economic (property) interests
as the grounds for the status of a participant in the proceedings.
A short insight into the history of Latvian legal regulation
Criminal proceedings are associated with the generally known participants
of the proceedings the possible guilty person (the suspect, the accused, etc.), the
victim, witnesses, experts, persons who direct and are responsible for the
proceedings, etc. However, in the course of implementing criminal procedure, in
view of the diversity of matters that have to be dealt with, other persons may be
involved as well. A fair resolution of criminal law relationship comprises not only
identification and possible punishment of the perpetrator but also other matters, of
which property issues are among the most important in the contemporary world
(compensation to the victim for the inflicted harm, collection of procedural costs
and handling of criminally acquired property). These issues may pertain not only to
3 For example, the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia is planning to offer, beginn ing with the
next study year, a study course “Criminal Law Aspects of Entrepreneurship”.

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