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THE PARLIAMENT OF ROMANIA

The Chamber of Deputies

The Senate

LAW

On certain measures to ensure the protection of

victims of crime

No. 211 on 27th May of 2004

OJ. No. 505 on 4th June of 2004

The Parliament of Romania adopts this law.

Chapter I

General provisions

Art.1 – To ensure the protection of victims of crime, this law regulates certain measures for informing the victims of crime with regard to their rights, as well as for providing the victims of crime with psychological counselling, free legal assistance and financial compensation from the State.

Art.2 – The Ministry of Justice, through the National Institute for Magistrates and through the Ministry of Administration and the Interior, shall ensure the specialisation of personnel that, in the exercise of prerogatives provided in the law, establishes direct contact with the victims of crime.

Art.3 – The public authorities having prerogatives in the field of protecting the victims of crime shall, in co-operation with non-governmental organisations, organise campaigns of public appraisal in this field.

Chapter II

Informing the victims of crime

Art.4 – (1) Judges, in the case of offences for which prior complaint must be lodged with a law court, or public prosecutors, police officers/agents shall provide the victims of crime with the following information:

a) the services and organisations that provide psychological counselling or any other forms of assistance to victims, according to their needs;

b) the body of criminal prosecution with which complaints may be lodged;

c) their right to receive legal assistance and the institution that can be addressed for exercising this right;

d) the conditions and procedure for obtaining legal assistance free of charge;

e) the procesual rights of injured persons, of injured parties and of civil parties;

f) the conditions and procedure for enjoying the provisions of Art.861, Art.862, Art.864 and Art.865 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as well as the provisions of Law No.682/2002 on witness protection;

g) the conditions and procedure for receiving the financial compensation from the State.

(2) The information in para.(1) shall be made known to the victim by the judge, public prosecutor, police officer/agent before whom the victim appears.

(3) The information in para.(1) shall be made known to the victim either in writing or verbally, in a language that he understands.

(4) The fulfilment of the obligations in para.(1)-(3) shall be recorded in minutes, which shall be registered with the institution to which the judge, public prosecutor or police officer/agent before whom the victim appeared belongs.  

Art.5 – (1) The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Administration and the Interior shall, with the support of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, ensure the operation of a telephone line available permanently for the information of victims of crime. The telephone line shall ensure the communication of the information provided in Art.4 para.(1).

(2) Access to the telephone line in para.(1) shall be ensured, free of charge, by calling a unique national telephone number.

(3) The personnel that ensure the communication of the information through the telephone line in para.(1) shall notify the police units, if the telephone conversation shows that the victim is in danger. 

(4) The authorities of the local public administration and the non-governmental organisations may create local telephone lines for informing the victims of crime.

Art.6 – (1) The information in Art.4 para.(1) shall be published on the web pages of the Ministry of Justice and of the Ministry of Administration and the Interior.

(2) Law courts, public prosecutor's offices attached to law courts and police departments may publish on their web pages the information provided in Art.4 para.(1).

Chapter III

Psychological counselling for victims of certain offences and other forms of assistance for victims of crime

Art.7 – Psychological counselling shall be provided to victims of crime by the services of probation and victim protection attached to tribunals, in accordance with this law.   

Art.8 – (1) The psychological counselling shall be provided free of charge and upon request by the services of probation and victim protection, to the victims of attempts to the offences of murder, first degree murder and particularly serious murder as provided in Art.174-176 of the Criminal Code, to the victims of crime of hitting or other violence and bodily harm committed upon family members as provided in Art.180 para.(11) and (21) and Art.181 para.(11) of the Criminal Code, of the offence of grievous bodily harm as provided in Art.182 of the Criminal Code, of intentional offences that resulted in grievous bodily harm to the victim, of offences of rape, sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual perversion and sexual corruption as provided in Art.197, Art.198 Art.201 para.(2)-(5) and Art.202 of the Criminal Code, of the offence of ill treatment applied to minors as provided in Art.306 of the Criminal Code, as well as to the victims of the offences provided in Law No.678/2001 to prevent and combat trafficking in persons.

(2) Gratis psychological counselling shall be provided to victims of the offences in para.(1), if the offence was committed in Romanian territory or if the offence was committed outside Romanian territory and the victim is a Romanian or foreign citizen who legally inhabits Romania.

Art.9 – The gratis psychological counselling shall be provided by the services of probation and victim protection for up to 3 months, and for victims below the age of 18, for up to 6 months.

Art.10 – (1) Applications for gratis psychological counselling shall be lodged with the service of probation and victim protection attached to the tribunal that has jurisdiction over the victim’s domicile.

(2) Applications may be lodged only after notifying the commission of the offence to the bodies of criminal prosecution.

(3) Applications must include:

a) the victim’s name, forename, citizenship, date and place of birth, domicile, residence and address;

b) the date, place and circumstances of commission of the offence;

c) the date of notification and the judicial body notified.

(4) The justifying documents for the data included in the application shall be attached to it.

(5) Applications for gratis psychological counselling shall be solved within 10 days from their submission date.

Art.11 – The services of probation and victim protection may provide also other forms of assistance to the victims of crime.

Art.12 – Non-governmental organisations may organise, either  independently or in co-operation with the public authorities, services for the psychological counselling of victims of crime and for providing other forms of assistance to victims of crime. To this end, non-governmental organisations may receive subsidies from the State budget, according to the law.

Art.13 – Victims of trafficking in persons and of domestic violence shall enjoy also the measures of protection and assistance provided in Law No.678/2001 to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons or, the case being, those provided in Law No. 217/2003 to prevent and combat domestic violence.

Chapter IV

Gratis legal assistance for victims of certain offences

Art.14 – (1) Gratis legal assistance shall be granted, upon request, to the following categories of victims:

a) persons against whom was committed an attempt to the offence of murder, first degree murder or particularly serious murder as provided in Art.174-176 of the Criminal Code, an offence of serious bodily harm as provided in Art.182 of the Criminal Code, an intentional offence that resulted in serious bodily harm to the victim, an offence of rape, sexual intercourse with a minor and sexual perversion as provided in Art.197, Art.198 and Art.201 para.(2)-(5) of the Criminal Code;

b) the spouse, children and dependants of persons deceased following the commission of offences of murder, first degree murder and particularly serious murder as provided in Art.174-176 of the Criminal Code, as well as of intentional offences that resulted in the person’s death.

(2) Gratis legal assistance shall be granted to the victims in para.(1), if the offence was committed in Romanian territory or, where the offence was committed outside Romanian territory, if the victim is a Romanian or foreign citizen who legally inhabits Romania and the criminal trial is in progress in Romania.

Art.15 – Gratis legal assistance shall be granted, upon request, to victims of crime other than those in Art.14 para.(1), while observing the conditions in Art.14 para.(2), if the monthly income per member of the victim’s family does not exceed  the national minimum basic gross salary established for the year in which the victim lodged the application for gratis legal assistance.

Art.16 – (1) Gratis legal assistance shall be granted only if the victim has notified the bodies of criminal prosecution within 60 days from the date of commission of the offence.

(2) For the victims in Art.14 para.(1) b), the term of 60 days shall be calculated from the date when the victim learnt of the commission of the offence.

(3) If the victim was unable, either physically or mentally, to notify the bodies of criminal prosecution, the term of 60 days shall be calculated from the date when the inability ceased.

(4) Victims under the age of 18 and incapacitated persons shall not be obliged to notify the bodies of criminal prosecution with regard to the commission of the offence. The legal representative of a minor or of an incapacitated  person may notify the bodies of criminal prosecution with regard to the commission of the offence .

Art.17 – (1) Applications for gratis legal assistance shall be lodged with the tribunal that has jurisdiction over the victim’s domicile and shall be solved by 2 judges from the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board, by a conclusion, within 15 days from the submission date.

(2) Applications for gratis legal assistance must include:

a) the victim’s name, forename, citizenship, date and place of birth, domicile, residence and address;

b) the date, place and circumstances of commission of the offence;

c) if the case requires, the date of notification and the body of criminal prosecution notified according to Art.16;

d) the capacity of spouse, child or dependant of the deceased person, for the victims in Art.14 para.(1) b);

e) if required, the monthly income per member of the victim’s family;

f) the name, forename and form of exercise of profession of lawyer by the defender chosen or a mention that the victim has not chosen a defender.

(3) Copies of the justifying documents for the data included in the application, as well as any other documents held by the victim and which are useful for solving the application, shall be attached to the application.

(4) Applications for gratis legal assistance shall be solved by conclusion handed down in the council chamber, having summoned the victim.

(5) Where the victim has not chosen a defender, a conclusion that allows the application for gratis legal assistance must contain also the designation of a defender ex officio according to Law No.51/1995 on the organisation and exercise of the lawyer’s profession, republished, with its ulterior amendments and supplements and to the Statute of the lawyer’s profession.

(6) Conclusions that solve applications for gratis legal assistance shall be notified to the victims.

(7) A conclusion that rejected the application for gratis legal assistance shall be subject to re-examination by the tribunal in which operates the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board, upon the victim’s request, within 15 days from notification. The re-examination shall be solved by a panel of 2 judges. 

Art.18 – (1) Gratis legal assistance shall be granted to each victim, once during the trial, while not exceeding a sum equivalent to 2 national minimum basic gross salaries established for the year in which the victim lodged the application for gratis legal assistance. 

(2) The funds needed in order to provide gratis legal assistance shall be supplied by the State budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Justice. 

Art.19 – Art.14-18 shall apply accordingly also for the granting of the sum required for executing a court decision that granted civil damages to the victim of an offence. 

Art.20 – (1) Applications for gratis legal assistance and applications for the sum required for executing a court decision that granted civil damages to the victim of an offence may be lodged by the legal representative of a minor or of an incapacitated person.

(2) Applications for gratis legal assistance and applications for the sum required for executing a court decision that granted civil damages to the victim of an offence may be lodged also by non-governmental organisations that operate in the field of victim protection, provided that the applications are signed by the victim, include the details in Art.17 para.(2) and are accompanied by the documents in Art.17 para.(3).

(3) Applications for gratis legal assistance and applications for the sum required for executing a court decision that granted civil damages to the victim of an offence shall be exempt of the stamp fee.

Chapter V

Financial compensation from the State for the victims of certain offences

Art.21 – (1) Financial compensation shall be granted, upon request, according to this Chapter, to the following categories of victims:

a) persons against whom was committed an attempt to the offence of murder, first degree murder or particularly serious murder as provided in Art.174-176 of the Criminal Code, an offence of serious bodily harm as provided in Art.182 of the Criminal Code, an intentional offence that resulted in serious bodily harm to the victim, an offence of rape, sexual intercourse with a minor and sexual perversion as provided in Art.197, Art.198 and Art.201 para.(2)-(5) of the Criminal Code;

b) the spouse, children and dependants of persons deceased following the commission of offences of murder, first degree murder and particularly serious murder as provided in Art.174-176 of the Criminal Code, as well as of intentional offences that resulted in the person’s death.

(2) Financial compensation shall be granted to the victims in para.(1), if the offence was committed in Romanian territory and the victim is a Romanian or foreign citizen who legally inhabits Romania.

(3) Financial compensation shall be granted to the victims in para.(1) based on international conventions to which Romania is a party, if the offence was committed in Romanian territory and the victim is a foreigner who does not inhabit Romania.

Art.22 – (1) No financial compensation shall be granted if:

a) it is established that the act does not exist or is not provided in the criminal law or that the act was committed in legitimate self-defence against the victim’s attack according to Art.44 of the Criminal Code;

b) the victim receives a final sentence for participation in an organised criminal group;

c) the victim receives a final sentence for one of the offences in Art.21 para.(1);

d) the court notes in favour of the perpetrator the mitigating circumstance of exceeding the limits of legitimate defence against the victim’s attack as provided in Art.73 a) of the Criminal Code or the mitigating circumstance of provocation as provided in Art.73 b) of the Criminal Code.

(2) A victim who has received financial compensation or a payment in advance from the financial compensation shall be obliged to return the sums if the existence of one of the cases in para.(1) is established.

Art.23 – (1) Financial compensation shall be granted to victims only if they notified the bodies of criminal prosecution within 60 days from the date of commission of the offence.

(2) For the victims in Art.21 para.(1) b), the term of 60 days shall be calculated from the date when the victim learnt of the commission of the offence.

(3) If the victim was unable, either physically or mentally, to notify the bodies of criminal prosecution, the term of 60 days shall be calculated from the date when the inability ceased.

(4) Victims under the age of 18 and incapacitated persons shall not be obliged to notify the bodies of criminal prosecution with regard to the commission of the offence. The legal representative of a minor or of an incapacitated  person may notify the bodies of criminal prosecution with regard to the commission of the offence.

Art.24 – (1) In cases where the perpetrator is known, financial compensation may be granted to the victim if the following conditions are met:

a) the victim has lodged an application for financial compensation within one year, according to case:

1. from the date when the decision of conviction or acquittal handed down by a criminal court remained final in the cases provided in Art.10 para.1 d) and e) of the Criminal Procedure Code and granted civil damages or handed down acquittal in the cases in Art.10 para.1 c) of the Criminal Procedure Code or cessation of the criminal trial in the cases provided in Art.10 para.1 g) and i1) of the Criminal Procedure Code;

2. from the date when the public prosecutor ordained removal from under criminal prosecution in the cases provided in Art.10 para.1 c), d) and e) of the Criminal Procedure Code or ordained cessation of criminal prosecution in the case provided in Art.10 para.1 g) of the Criminal Procedure Code;

3. from the date when non-initiation of criminal prosecution was ordained in the cases provided in Art.10 para.1 c), d), e) and g) of the Criminal Procedure Code;

b) the victim is a civil party in the criminal trial, except for the case in para.(1) a) indent 3;

c) the perpetrator is in a state of insolvency or has disappeared;

d) the victim has not obtained, from an insurance company, full reparation of the prejudice suffered. 

(2) If the victim was unable to lodge an application for financial compensation, the term of one year provided in para.(1) a) shall be calculated from the date when the inability ceased.

(3) If the court has ordained disjunction of the civil action, the term of one year provided in para.(1) a) shall run from the date when the decision that allowed the civil action remained irrevocable.

(4) Victims under the age of 18 and those incapacitated shall be exempt of the obligation in para.(1) b).

Art.25 – If the perpetrator is unknown, the victim may lodge an application for financial compensation within 3 years from the date of commission of the offence, if the condition in Art.24 para.(1) d) is met.

Art.26 – If the victim is a minor and his legal representative has not lodged the application for financial compensation within the terms provided, according to case, either in Art.24 or Art.25, these terms shall begin from the date when the victim reaches the age of 18 years. 

Art.27 – (1) Financial compensation shall be granted to victims for the following categories of prejudice suffered following the commission of the offence:

a) for the victims in Art.21 para.(1) a):

1. hospitalisation costs and other categories of medical expenses incurred by the victim;

2. material prejudice resulting from the dispossession, destruction, damaging or rendering unfit for use of the victim’s assets by commission of the offence;

3. earnings that the victim is deprived of by the commission of the offence; 

b) for the victims in Art.21 para.(1) b):

1. expenses for the funeral;

2. the support of which the victim is deprived by the commission of the offence.

(2) Financial compensation for the material prejudice in para.(1) a) indent 2 shall be granted while not exceeding the equivalent of 10 national minimum basic gross salaries established for the year in which the victim lodged the application for financial compensation.. 

(3) The amount of money paid by the perpetrator as civil damages and the indemnity received by the victim from an insurance company for the prejudice caused by commission of the offence shall be deducted from the amount of financial compensation granted to the victim by the State.

Art.28 – (1) Applications for financial compensation shall be lodged with the tribunal that has jurisdiction over the victim’s domicile and shall be solved by 2 judges from the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board, created in each tribunal.

(2) The Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board shall comprise at least two judges, designated for 3 years by the general assembly of the tribunal’s judges.

(3) The general assembly of the tribunal’s judges shall designate, for 3 years, also an equal number of judges who act as replacements for the judges who make up the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board.

(4) The replacement judges in para.(3) shall partake in the resolution of applications for financial compensation if one or both the judges who make up the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board is/are unable to attend.

(5) The Secretariat of the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board shall be ensured by one or several court clerks, designated by the tribunal’s president.

Art.29 – (1) Applications for financial compensation must include:

a) the victim’s name, forename, citizenship, date and place of birth, domicile, residence and address;

b) the date, place and circumstances of commission of the offence that caused the prejudice;

c) the categories of prejudice suffered by commission of the offence that is in accordance with Art.27 para.(1);

d) if the case requires, the date of notification and the body of criminal prosecution notified according to Art.23;

e) if required, the number and date of the court decision or document of the body of criminal prosecution, as provided in Art.24 para.(1) a);

f) the capacity of spouse, child or dependant of the deceased person, for the victims in Art.21 para.(1) b);

g) criminal antecedents;

h) amounts of money paid by the perpetrator as damages or the indemnity obtained by the victim from an insurance company for the prejudice caused by commission of the offence;

i) the amount of financial compensation requested.

(2) Copies of the justifying documents for the data included in the application, as well as any other documents held by the victim and which are useful for solving the application, shall be attached to the application.

Art.30 – (1) Victims may request the payment by the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board of an advance payment from the financial compensation, while not exceeding the equivalent of 10 national minimum basic gross salaries established for the year in which the victim requested the advance payment.

(2) Advance payment may be requested through the application for financial compensation or by a separate application that may be lodged at any time after notifying the bodies of criminal prosecution, if the case requires, according to Art.23 and no later than 30 days from the date of lodging of the application for compensation. Art.29 shall apply accordingly if the advance is requested by a separate application, which mentions also the stage of the court proceedings.

(3) The advance payment shall be granted if the victim is in a precarious financial situation.

(4) The victim’s application for advance payment from the financial compensation shall be solved within 30 days from the date when it was lodged, by 2 judges from the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board.

(5) In case of rejection of the application for financial compensation, the victim shall be obliged to return the advance payment, unless the application for financial compensation was rejected for the sole reason that the perpetrator was not in a state of insolvency or had not disappeared.

(6) A victim that received advance payment from the financial compensation shall be obliged to return it if he has not lodged an application for financial compensation within the terms provided, according to case, in Art.24, Art.25 or Art.26.

Art.31 –  (1) Applications for financial compensation and applications for advance payment from the financial compensation shall be solved in the council chamber, having summoned the victim.

(2) Participation from the public prosecutor is mandatory.

(3) In view of solving the application, the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board, in a panel of 2 judges, may hear persons, may request documents and may administer any other evidence that it deems useful for solving the application.

(4) In the case of applications for financial compensation or applications for advance payment from financial compensation, the Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board may, in a panel of 2 judges, hand down, in a decision, one of the following solutions:

a) admission of the application and establishment of the amount of financial compensation or, the case being, the amount of the advance payment from the financial compensation;

b) rejection of the application, if the conditions provided in this law are not met for the granting of financial compensation or of the advance payment from the financial compensation.

(5) Decisions solving applications for financial compensation or applications for advance payment from the financial compensation shall be notified to the victim.

(6) Decisions may be subject to appeal in points of law with a court of appeal, within 15 days from notification.

Art.32 – The Crime Victims Financial Compensation Board is obliged to inform the body of criminal prosecution or the court that has been given competence to judge the offence or, the case being, the court that has been given competence to solve the civil action, with regard to applications for  financial compensation or with regard to applications for advance payment  from the financial compensation.

Art.33 – (1) The funds needed in order to provide financial compensation and advance payments from the financial compensation shall be supplied by the State budget, through the budget of the Ministry of Justice. 

(2) The payment of financial compensation and the advance payment from financial compensation shall be handled by the financial compartments in tribunals, within 15 days from the date when the decision granting the financial compensation or advance payment from financial compensation remained final.

(3) Through the Ministry of Justice, the State shall subrogate in the rights of victims who received financial compensation or advance payment from financial compensation in order to recover the sums paid to the victims. 

Art.34 – (1) Applications for financial compensation and applications for advance payment from the financial compensation may be lodged by the legal representatives of minors or incapacitated persons.

(2) Applications for financial compensation and applications for advance payment from the financial compensation may be lodged also by non-governmental organisations that operate in the field of victim protection, provided that the applications are signed by the victim, include the data provided in Art.29 para.(1) and have as attachments the documents provided in Art.29 para.(2). If the advance payment is requested by a separate application, the application shall contain a mention of the stage of court proceedings.

(3) Applications for financial compensation and applications for advance payment from the financial compensation shall be exempt of the stamp fee.

Chapter VI

Final provisions

Art.35 – The name „services for the social reinsertion of offenders and for supervision of execution of sanctions not depriving of freedom” or the name „social reinsertion and supervision services” provided in the Government Ordinance No.92/2000 on the organisation and operation of the services for the social reinsertion of offenders and for supervision of execution of sanctions not depriving of freedom, published in the Official Gazette of Romania, Part I, No. 423 of  1 September 2000, with its ulterior amendments and supplements, as well as in other normative acts, shall be replaced with the name “services of probation and victim protection”.

Art.36 – This law shall enter force on 1 January 2005.