Compensation for criminal proceedings

Compensation terms

The State shall be liable for damage caused by a decision rendered in civil proceedings, administrative proceedings, proceedings under the Administrative Procedure Code or criminal proceedings. It shall also be liable for damage caused by an incorrect official procedure. 

Liability of the State arises if the following conditions are met:

  1. Unlawful decision OR incorrect official procedure

  2. The occurrence of the damage

  3. Causal link between the unlawful decision/incorrect official procedure and the injury

Good to know

What is an unlawful decision?

It is a decision issued in civil court proceedings, administrative proceedings, in proceedings under the Administrative Code of Court or in criminal proceedings. An unlawful decision can thus be issued in a wide range of proceedings.

In principle, the claim can only be asserted if the final decision has been annulled or changed by the competent authority due to unlawfulness. If the damage was caused by an unlawful decision enforceable without regard to legal force, a claim can be made even if the decision was annulled or changed on the basis of a proper remedy.

At the same time, the law fundamentally stipulates the condition for the use of available procedural means of legal protection (with the exception of the motion for new trial). At the same time, specific conditions are regulated for cases with decisions regarding custody, punishment and protective measures.

What is incorrect official procedure?

In general, this is the conduct of a state authority that is in conflict with the legal norms establishing its procedure. Incorrect official procedure is not reflected in the decision of the given authority itself. Typically, this involves issuing a decision after the deadline set by law, or not issuing it. In the same way, a whole range of factual actions of state authorities that cannot be characterized as decisions can be classified under incorrect official procedure.

What is causation?

Causation means a cause-and-effect relationship between an unlawful decision or incorrect official procedure and the occurrence of harm. This means that it was the alleged unlawful decision or incorrect official procedure that caused the specific harm.

The issue of causation is dealt with very often in the decision-making practice of courts, and it is necessary to assess it on a case-by-case basis. Among other things, it is important to place an emphasis on the question of whether the unlawful decision or incorrect official procedure was the sole or only one of the causes of the harm, how the entire chain of causation looked, whether the damage was caused (at least partially) by the injured party himself, etc. 

What is harm?

Harm is a broader category that includes damage (in other words, material damage) and non-material damage.

Material damage can be further divided into two categories, actual damage (what was lost from the property as a result of a certain event - e.g. damage to a car reduced its value) and lost profit (property increase that did not occur - e.g. the injured party proves that as a result of an illegal conviction the business partner did not conclude the planned contract with him).

Non-property damage refers to cases that do not have a direct impact on the injured party's property. Typically, this is an unreasonable length of proceedings, increased mental stress, etc.