Research on case-law in criminal cases regarding destruction and damaging of property is discussed and accepted at the general meeting of judges of the Department of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court. Research on case-law is performed by Dr. iur. Valentija Liholaja, the professor of the Department Of Criminal Law of the Faculty of Law of the University of Latvia, in cooperation with the Division of Case-law and the Department of Criminal Cases.  

The study analyses 238 court rulings adopted by 35 Latvian courts within three years, between 2011 and 2013, on destruction and damaging of property of another person, qualifying the offence in accordance with Section 185 and 186 of the Criminal Law, namely, for intentional or negligent destruction or damaging of property.  

251 persons were called to criminal responsibility for intentional destruction or damaging of property, 223 of them – in accordance with Section 185 Paragraph One of the Criminal Law, which is classified as less severe offence, and 28 persons – in accordance with Paragraph Two of this Section, classifying the offence comprised thereof as especially severe crime. In respect of 189 accused, courts adopted a decision on adjudication of a case without verification of evidence, settlement between a victim and an accused was concluded in 21 cases, agreement procedure was applied in eight cases.  

However, in 25 criminal cases, 31 accused were called to criminal liability for negligent destruction or damaging of property. 15 of these criminal cases were reviewed without verification of evidence; one criminal case was reviewed under agreement procedure, and settlement between a victim and an accused was concluded in five cases.

It has been indicated in conclusions and suggestions – to eliminate errors and imperfections established in research process and to  ensure legal assessment of  destruction and damaging of property of another person, which would comply with the law, legal doctrine and case-law, the official guiding proceedings must strictly observe that only a person, who is guilty of commitment of an offence, namely, who intentionally or by negligence performed offence stipulated by the Criminal Law, which includes all objective and subjective features of corpus delicti of the offence, may be called to criminal liability and imposed a punishment. Conclusions and suggestions regarding review of a case, if destruction and damaging of property is performed by group of persons, and if settlement between a victim and an accused was concluded, are provided as well.  

Research “Case-law in criminal cases regarding destruction and damaging of property” is available on the web site of the Supreme Court www.at.gov.lvin section Judicature/ Compilations of court decisions/ Criminal law. See here

 

Information prepared by

Rasma Zvejniece, the Head of the Division of Communication of the Supreme Court

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211