Right to information on appeals and remedies

If the victim feels that the decision made by the judges is unfounded, there are various ways for them to challenge it in court.

Following the judgement of a first court, victims can file an appeal but only on the issue of damages (i.e. compensation). The victim can never challenge the sentence imposed on the defendant/accused. The case will then be tried for the second time, after which the judgement will be confirmed or overturned.

In addition, the Public Prosecutor or Attorney General may appeal the guilt of the defendant/accused and the sentence (the ‘criminal provisions’ of the judge’s ruling).

Finally, the defendant/accused can appeal against everything (both the criminal provisions i.e. the sentence made against them – as well as the civil provisions – i.e. the compensation of the civil party).
In addition, it is always possible to challenge the decision of the Court of Appeal by lodging an appeal with the Court of Cassation. The judges of this court do not retry the case, but verify that the law has been correctly applied. They may uphold the decision or order that it be retried by another Court of Appeal.

There are also other, more specialised remedies. A review may be considered if there was wilful misconduct during the trial (e.g. evidence declared to be false).

The victim otherwise has a number of options if a complaint is closed by the Public Prosecutor without further action.

I was a victim of a criminal offence: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of a criminal offence Criminal proceedings Who is who in criminal proceedings

Useful contacts Glossary

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