Criminal Appeals in Europe: The Perspective of the Defence

in European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
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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.

Criminal Appeals in Europe: The Perspective of the Defence

in European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice




 See Spencer‘Mutual Recognition and Choice of Forum’ pp. 66–67.


P. Hennion-Jacquet‘Les nullités de l’enquêt de l’instruction. Un exemple du déclin de la légalité procédurale’Revue pénal droit pénal (2009) 7–28; C. Goyet ‘A propos des nullités de l’instruction préparatoire: quelques remarques sur la distinction des nullités textuelles et des nullités substantielles’ Revue de Science Criminelle et de Droit Pènal Comparé (1976) 899–914; M. L. Rassat Traité de procédure pénale (Paris: puf 2001) pp. 681–705.


 See Graham‘Abuse of discretion, reversible error, harmless error, plain error, structural error’op. cit. pp. 955 et seq.


P. Davigo and G. MannozziLa corruzione in Italia (Rome: Laterza2007) p. 139.


 See A. Nappi‘Il nuovo processo penale: un’ipotesi di aggiornamento del giudizio di primo grado’Cassazione penale (1990) 974–978 at 976–977; A. Nappi ‘Adeguamenti necessari per il sistema delle impugnazioni’ 29 Diritto e giustizia (2004) 151–159.

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