The new law significantly expanded the procedural rights of victims

On January 10, 2014, the Federal Law of December 28, 2013 No. 432-FZ “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in order to improve the rights of victims in criminal proceedings” came into force. The document expands the procedural rights of victims, creates conditions for the implementation of the principle of adversariality and equality of parties in criminal proceedings, and ensures the protection of their rights and legitimate interests.

According to the Law, the decision on recognition as a victim is now taken immediately from the moment of initiation of a criminal case and is formalized by a decision of an inquiry officer, investigator, judge or a court ruling. Previously, a natural or legal person who was harmed by a crime was recognized as a victim no later than three days from the date of initiation of a criminal case.

Also, the victim has the right to receive copies of decisions on the election and refusal to elect the accused as a preventive measure in the form of detention, on the direction of the criminal case according to jurisdiction, on the appointment of a preliminary hearing, a court session, as well as on request – copies of other procedural documents affecting him interests. In addition, the victim received the right to object to the decision of the sentence without conducting a general trial. The composition of the investigation team must now be announced not only to the suspect and the accused, but also to the victim.

A separate block of changes is also related to the rights of the victim in connection with the forensic examination. So, in contrast to the earlier norms, the investigator introduces the decision on the appointment of a forensic examination, including the victim, his representative and explains to them the rights provided for by Art. 198 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

The law expands the list of persons to whom the rights of the victim in criminal cases concerning crimes that entailed the death of the victim are transferred, which will create additional guarantees for ensuring their rights. In such cases, the rights of the victim under Art. 42 In the RF, they pass to one of his close relatives and (or) close persons, and in their absence or the impossibility of their participation in criminal proceedings – to one of the relatives.

Along with this, the right of the victim to receive the following information on a compulsory basis is enshrined: about the arrival of the convicted person for imprisonment at the place of serving the sentence; on the departure of the convicted person outside the institution executing a sentence of imprisonment; on the time of release of the convicted person from places of deprivation of liberty in the event that the victim or his legal representative makes a corresponding statement before the end of the debate of the parties.

The law introduces additional guarantees to compensate the victim for harm caused by a crime (in whole or in part). In particular, the conditional sentence can be canceled, and the convicted person’s conviction removed before the expiry of the probationary period, in particular, subject to compensation for harm (part 1 of article 74 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). On the contrary, evasion from compensation for harm in the amount determined by the court decision may entail an extension of the probationary period, but not more than for a year (part 2 of article 74 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). In turn, in the event of a systematic evasion of compensation for the specified harm during an extended probationary period, the court may decide to cancel the conditional sentence and execute the sentence imposed by the sentence (part 2.1 of article 74 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Similarly, for conditional early release from serving a sentence, replacing the unserved part of the sentence with a milder type of punishment, removing a criminal record before the expiration of its expiration date, compensation for harm is now also a necessary condition (part 1 of article 79 and part 1 of article 80 of the Criminal Code RF, part 5 of Art.86 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

At the same time, the Law provides for increased liability of the victim. In accordance with Article 307 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, he is responsible for perjury. For the disclosure of data from the preliminary investigation, the victim is liable in accordance with Art. 310 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

According to Art. 308 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in case of evasion of the victim from passing the examination, from the production of a forensic examination against him or from the provision of handwriting samples and other samples for comparative research, the victim can be prosecuted and he can be fined up to 40 thousand rubles … or in the amount of wages or other income for a period of up to three months, or compulsory labor for up to 360 hours, or correctional labor for up to one year, or arrest for up to three months.