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Criminal Appeals in Europe: The Perspective of the Defence

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image of European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

This paper is focused on the appeal system in criminal justice, in a comparative perspective, considered from the standpoint of the defendant. Most part of the directives adopted after the 2009 Stockholm Programme in the AFSJ area involve issues related to the appeal stage. Appeal represents an instrument prevailingly conceived in favour of the defence. This pro-defence inclination of the appeal bears some relevant risk for the effectivity of the system, under the viewpoint of law enforcement. Some restrictions to avoid destructive strategies by the defence can be accepted. However, legal instruments devoted to preserve the self-integrity of the proceedings must be used with extreme caution. The risk is that an excessive recourse to such provisions might lead the system to disregard procedural legality, and the values protected by procedural rules, in the name of an effective ascertainment of the substantial truth.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Juridical Sciences, School of Law, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy,


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