After conducting a hearing in which evidence is presented by reading documents, viewing photographs or videos, electronic records, listening to defendants, witnesses and experts, as well as presenting other evidence such as examining cases, places of events, therefore, directly presenting evidence, it evaluates each piece of evidence individually, and then all the evidence together.


Evidence encompasses all facts that the court and the parties consider important for a proper adjudication. The parties have the right to propose witnesses and experts and to present evidence. Each party will comment on the proposals of the opposing party and the injured party. The panel may decide to present evidence that has not been proposed or that the proposer has waived.


Well-known facts do not need to be established. It cannot be proposed to establish facts whose existence the law presupposes in favor of the accused, but their non-existence can be proved.


Evidence in criminal law theory is any source of knowledge on the basis of which the existence of important facts is concluded. Most often, the evidence is divided into two basic groups:


– personal (personal) evidence, ie testimonies of persons,


– real (material) evidence, ie various physical objects that can be used to establish the facts.


According to the principle of free evaluation of evidence, as one of the basic principles of criminal procedural law, there are no formal evidentiary rules by which the court determines the existence or non-existence of a particular fact, or rules by which individual evidence would be evaluated according to its type and quality. However, the application of this principle in practice does not mean that arbitrariness is allowed in the assessment of evidence. Although the law does not define the notion of evidence in the criminal legislation, nor does the procedural rules determine what can be presented during the hearing and assessed as evidence in a particular criminal case, the law prescribes what cannot be used as evidence, or on which evidence it cannot be based. court decisions thus giving a negative definition.


Illegal evidence is evidence that, due to a violation of the procedure, which at the same time constitutes a violation of fundamental human rights, must not be used to reach a verdict.


In criminal cases to the detriment of children, often professionals such as doctors, social workers, psychologists and others may be questioned about what they heard or saw on the victim child or if they have knowledge of the commission of the crime. Such a statement will be assessed by the panel and compared with other evidence. Persons who are likely to be able to give information about the crime, the perpetrator and other important circumstances are called as witnesses.


Expertise (Criminal Procedure Act (Official Gazette 152/2008, 76/2009, 80/2011, 91/2012, 143/2012, 56/2013, 145/2013, 152/2014, 70/2017, 126/2019, 126/2019) is determined when to establish or assess an important fact, a finding and opinion should be obtained from a person who has the necessary professional knowledge or skills. If there are contradictions or deficiencies in the expert’s opinion or there are grounds for doubting the accuracy of the given opinion, and these deficiencies or doubts cannot be remedied by re-examining the expert, he shall request the opinion of another expert witness.


An expert person, such as a doctor or a psychologist, may be summoned to court as a witness or as an expert witness, if he or she has been appointed as an expert witness in court. Other experts may be appointed only if there is a risk of delay, or if permanent experts are prevented, or if other circumstances so require.


No court decision was made on the basis of a single piece of evidence. By presenting a range of evidence, from material evidence, such as reviewing and reading medical records, to expert testimony on the child’s health records, testimony of the child, his parents, social welfare representative, teacher, doctor and others, the court determines the commission of a criminal offense. the guilt of the defendant.


From the filing of a criminal report to the indictment, the State Attorney assesses whether there is evidence that a criminal offense has been committed, so he may suspend the proceedings or dismiss the criminal report at that earlier stage. Any criminal offense that is reported can be falsely reported and no group of criminal offenses is on a larger scale for false reporting.


False reporting (Criminal Code (Official Gazette 125/2011, 144/2012, 56/2015, 61/2015, 101/2017, 118/2018, 126/2019) of a criminal offense is committed by anyone who reports a person or subpoena that points to it) that she has committed a criminal offense, even though she knows that it is not true, or who falsely reports, traces or otherwise provokes criminal proceedings against a person she knows is not the perpetrator of the criminal offense, or who reports that a criminal offense has been committed even though she knows that it is not true or whoever reports himself to have committed such an act even though he knows it is not true.


Thus, the applicant must know that it is not true that that person committed the offense. The reason for prescribing this criminal offense is to protect a person who has been falsely reported from the inconvenience of the consequences that false reporting may have for him.


According to the Statistical Office, we have an average of 120 criminal charges for the criminal offense of false reporting of criminal offenses in the last 10 years, and courts annually convict about 70 perpetrators, so the same is insignificant in terms of the number of overall criminal charges. Namely, in 2017, there were 52 convicted persons for this criminal offense, of which 20 persons were women (Statistical Yearbook 2018 of the Statistical Office). In that year, 12,091 persons were convicted, and 58,181 persons were reported.


Therefore, the court makes a decision on the guilt of the accused, the person accused of a certain criminal offense and after determining the guilt decides on a criminal sanction that is within the statutory minimum and maximum for that criminal offense.


By: Lana Petö Kujundžić, PhD, judge of the Zagreb County Court


Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

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