The Civil Compensation of Criminal Acts in Albania

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When harm is done, it creates legal obligations and liabilities. This is a very important principle of civil law that accompanies criminal acts. The criminal behaviour infringes the law, but at the same time, it directly violates and harms the victims, which have the right of civil restitution. The Code of Criminal Procedure in Albania, in the articles 58-68, has specifically determined the possibility of the civil part damaged by a criminal act, to actively attend the criminal process, by requesting the civil damage suffered. Exploiting the possibility granted by these provisions is a good alternative to prevent criminality, because in certain cases, paying the civil reparations can be more effective, towards the victim, than serving the criminal sentence of the court. The victims of criminal offence suffer financial losses, for several causes: hospital bills, losing time from work, mental or psychological disorders, damaged or stolen goods, funeral expenses, etc. The offender is obliged to pay the property, biological and moral damages he has caused to the victim. The court is the competent authority to decide the value of the tort compensation. The latest international studies in the field of studying the victim’s behaviour show that civil restoration of the damage caused by criminal acts is more satisfactory for the victims compared to his criminal conviction. In some cases the civil restitution is the only way to make a person responsible for the criminal acts, especially in the case of juvenile offenders. Taking in consideration that the minor has no criminal responsibility and the lack of correction institutions for juveniles in Albania, the only way to punish is through the civil restoration of the damages. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the latest changes of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Albanian judicial practice regarding the civil damage during the criminal process, as a way to reduce court and procedural expenses. Taking in consideration that the majority of the civil petitions for criminal acts damage restoration are done in separate judicial processes, the paper aims to highlight the main reasons for this occurrence and to suggest more effective ways for the civil compensation of criminal acts.  

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