The right of certain persons of not giving statements as witnesses
in the Romanian Code of Criminal Procedure
Professor Anca-Lelia LORINCZ1
Associate professor Alexandru Florin MĂGUREANU2
The Code of Criminal Procedure provides some exceptions, from the general rule
according to which any persons can be heard as witness, as there are certain persons that
can not become witnesses in a criminal trial; these persons are as follow: persons that can
not be heard as witnesses and persons that are entitled to decline to testify. We consider
that the stipulations of the current Code of Criminal Procedure regarding the persons that
can not be forced to testify in some criminal cases is criticisa ble in terms of requirements of
legislative technique regarding the usage of a concise, clear style and a correct
terminology. Also, in order to correlate the stipulations of the Code of Criminal Procedure
with the ones of the current Criminal Code, we propose, de lege ferenda, a modification of
the criminal procedural stipulation s regarding the persons that can refuse to testify as
witness, by using the expression “family member of the suspect or of the defendant”.
Keywords: witness, criminal trial, family member, the current Code of Criminal
Procedure, the current Criminal Code.
JEL Classification: K14
1. The notion of witness
The Romanian Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP)3, which entered into
force on February 1 2014, has brought changes also regarding t he stipulations on
witness statements, as evidence in the criminal trial.
According to the CCP (art.114 para.1), witness is the person that has
knowledge of facts or circumstances that constitute evidence in a criminal trial.
The role that the witness statements have in the criminal trial and the
importance that the legislator recognizes, to this category of means of evidence, is
also emphasized by the stipulation according to which the quality of witness takes
precedence to that of expert, lawyer, mediator, representative of one of the parties
1 Anca-Lelia Lorincz - "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" Police Academy of Bucharest, Romania, lelia.lorincz
2 Alexandru Florin Măgureanu - "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" Police Acade my of Bucharest, Romania,
3 Law no.135/2010 on the new Code of Criminal Pro cedure, pub lished in the Official Gazette
no.486/15 July 2010, with subsequent amendments.