Stages of the Criminal Case as Stipulated in the Romanian Code of Criminal Procedure

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT.

The stage of the criminal case represents one of its divisions and implies the activity of a certain category of judicial bodies in order to fulfill the duties and tasks pertaining to their function in the lawsuit and to pursue the proceedings (to take proceedings, to try: hear and determine a case or to enforce a judgment in a criminal matter). At the end of this activity a certain solution can be given in order to resolve the criminal issues involved in the lawsuit. According to the existing Romanian regulations, the criminal case comprises three stages: criminal prosecution, trial and enforcement of judgments. According to the New Code of Criminal Procedure, a criminal case comprises four stages: criminal prosecution, pre-trial chamber, trial, and enforcement of judgments.

Keywords: stages of the criminal case, new Criminal Procedure Code

1. Concept of stage in the criminal case

The stage of the criminal case represents one of its divisions and implies the activity of a certain category of judicial bodies in order to fulfill the duties and tasks pertaining to their function in the lawsuit. At the end of this activity a certain solution can be given with regard to the criminal case.1 The 1864 Romanian Code of Criminal Procedure (presently abrogated) stipulated five stages, namely: the detection and investigation stage, the prosecution stage, the preceding instruction stage, the trial stage and the enforcement of judgments stage.2 At that time, it was considered that the activity preceding the act of notifying the law court and instituting legal proceedings was composed of three stages, two general and one special stage: the detection and investigation stage, the prosecution stage, the prerequisite instruction stage.3 These preceding stages, although representing a procedural step, still do not belong to the criminal case, but they are meant to prepare this case. The procedural activity may be called a criminal case only in the circumstances when it is conducted around a juridical conflict submitted for trial, therefore pending before the court. Everything that precedes the notification of the court, even wearing a jurisdictional character, does not belong to the case because the juridical conflict has not been yet submitted for trial and pending before the court. Based on these grounds the criminal procedure was divided into: the preliminary procedure (detection and investigation, prosecution, prerequisite instruction) and the trial procedure (the criminal case).

The 1937 Romanian Code of Criminal Procedure (presently abrogated) stipulated four stages, namely: the first investigations, the preparatory instruction, the trial and the execution of punishment.4 According to the present regulation of our country (The 1969 Code of Criminal Procedure in force), the criminal case is composed of three stages: the criminal prosecution, the trial and the enforcement of judgments. The following functions are performed during the criminal case: the prosecution function; the trial function; the enforcement of judgments function. The stages in the proceedings are different from one another, mainly by the activities that need to be fulfilled, by the category of bodies conducting them, by the enclosed steps and measures in proceedings and orders of the Court. The first stage of the criminal case, called the criminal prosecution, precedes the trial and it is situated between the beginning of the criminal prosecution and sending the defendant for trial by the Public Prosecutor's charge. The trial begins with the writ of summons instituting legal proceedings and involves all the trial activities carried out until the decree is declared absolute and definitive.

The enforcement of judgments represents the final stage, comprising the whole procedure of enforcing the decree absolute, until the enforcing body is notified. The doctrine says that the proper enforcement is not regulated by the procedure norms, placing itself outside the criminal case. …