Victim of a crime

The victim of a crime is also called the injured party. Some offences are not subject to public prosecution, that is, the prosecutor has no jurisdiction to bring a charge unless the injured party requests that a charge be brought. Most offences, however, are subject to public prosecution, which means that the prosecutor is free to act as he or she sees fit, independently of the views of the injured party.

If the injured party makes a request, the prosecutor must present a claim for damages in the trial on behalf of the injured party. The prosecutor may refuse to present the injured party’s claim if it is obviously ill-founded or if its presentation would significantly impair the prosecution of the case. If the prosecutor refuses, the injured party is notified of the same. In this event, he or she must present the claim in court him or herself or retain the assistance of counsel, such as an advocate.

In the Finnish system of criminal procedure, the injured parties have a “secondary" right of prosecution. If the prosecutor has decided not to prosecute, the injured party is entitled to bring a charge for the offence at his or her discretion him or herself and have the case considered by a court. In that case, the injured party pursues the matter on his or her own responsibility.

The parties can also be referred to mediation.

Published 20.7.2018