Criminal law

Compensation in a criminal trial in the latest jurisprudence of the Supreme Court

There is a well-established view in the jurisprudence of criminal courts, according to which the obligation to redress the damage should not be aimed at increasing the victim’s property or constitute an element of punishment in the strict sense. Compensation may not meet the instructions specified in art. 53 of the Penal Code (compare the judgments of the Supreme Court of 9 July 2013, II KK 160/13, 25 June 2015, II KK 144/15).

The obligation to redress the damage may not increase the severity resulting from the committed prohibited act (see the judgment of the Supreme Court of 25 September 2015, II KK 224/15).

The doctrine notes that the obligation to redress the damage should primarily cover compensation for the loss (damnum emergens) suffered by the aggrieved party. In a criminal trial, therefore, it is necessary to establish the actual damage suffered by the aggrieved party, understood as in civil law. This applies to real damage that has not been repaired in whole or in part.

Bearing in mind the above, it should be stated that the Supreme Court in it’s judgment of 7 May 2020 (III KK 303/19) stated that the court adjudicating on the motion for conviction outside the trial pursuant to art. 335 of the CCP cannot accept the terms of the agreement agreed between the prosecutor and the accused, which violate the provisions of substantive law (see the judgment of the Supreme Court of 12.7.2012, III KK 429/11, the judgment of the Supreme Court of 21 February 2013, V KK 14/13)

Author team leader DKP Legal Michał Puk
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