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Last update: 21-01-2009
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Compensation to crime victims - Slovakia

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Obtaining compensation in form of the damages from the offender. 1.
1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)? 1.1.
1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I put forward the claim? 1.2.
1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom? 1.3.
1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)? 1.4.
1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings? 1.5.
1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim? 1.6.
1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender? 1.7.
2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body. 2.
2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body? 2.1.
2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime? 2.2.
2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury? 2.3.
2.4. Can relatives or dependants of victims who have died as a result of a crime obtain compensation? 2.4.
2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country? 2.5.
2.6. Can I apply for compensation from a Member State, if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under what conditions? 2.6.
2.7. Is it necessary to have the crime reported to the police? 2.7.
2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply? 2.8.
2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender? 2.9.
2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application? 2.10.
2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation? 2.11.
2.12. For which losses can I be compensated? 2.12.
2.13. How will the compensation be calculated? 2.13.
2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded? 2.14.
2.15. Will the compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state? 2.15.
2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that has caused the injury? 2.16.
2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If so, under what conditions? 2.17.
2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website that I can use? 2.18.
2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application? 2.19.
2.20. Where do I send the application? 2.20.
2.21. Are there any victim-support organisations that can give further assistance? 2.21.

 

1. Obtaining compensation in form of the damages from the offender.

1.1. Under which conditions can I make a claim for damages in the trial against the offender (the criminal proceedings)?

A crime victim is a person who, as a result of a crime, has suffered bodily harm, damage to property, non-material damage, or any other damage, or a person whose other legally protected rights or freedoms have been infringed or jeopardised.

The basic condition for obtaining compensation in the form of damages from the offender is that the damage must have been caused by a criminal act, i.e. there must be a causal link between the damage and the criminal act for which the accused person has been prosecuted.

If the crime victim has been deprived of legal capacity or his legal capacity has been restricted, his rights may be exercised by a legal representative. This representative is entitled to entrust a victim support organisation to represent the crime victim in the proceedings.

It is important for the claim to be accompanied by supporting evidence.

1.2. At which moment of the procedure should I put forward the claim?

The crime victim must claim for damages no later than by the end of the criminal investigation or abridged criminal investigation (Section 46(3) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure).

1.3. How should I put forward the claim, and to whom?

The claim for damages is put forward to law enforcement services (the police) during the pre-trial procedure. The claim must be lodged duly and in good time. As a general rule, the claim is put forward during the interview of the crime victim and put on the record accordingly. It is also possible for the crime victim to put forward the claim in the form of a separate submission.

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1.4. How should I present my claim (indicate a total amount and/or specify the individual losses)?

A claim for damages is duly presented if there are no doubts regarding the claim. The law expressly requires that the grounds and amount of the claim for damages must be clear from the petition. As far as the grounds of the claim are concerned, it is sufficient for the crime victim to declare that the damage has been caused by the criminal act mentioned in the decision to prosecute and that this is the reason for the presentation of the claim for damages. As for the amount of the claim, at least a specific minimum amount of the damage incurred must be stated, or a reference must be made to a document determining the amount (e.g. an expert report or other piece of evidence, which becomes part of the file). It is not sufficient to make a reference to some future quantification of the damage incurred. The claim must be put forward against a specific accused person. This is particularly important where proceedings involve several accused persons. If the crime victim is claiming damages from several accused persons, he should state whether the accused persons are to pay damages jointly and severally or proportionately to their share in the damage caused.

1.5. Can I get legal assistance before and/or during the proceedings?

A victim who is seeking damages but does not have adequate resources to pay the related costs may be appointed a legal representative (a lawyer) in the pre-trial procedure once charges have been brought. This decision is taken, on a proposal from the prosecutor, by the judge in the pre-trial proceedings or by the presiding judge in the trial, if considered necessary to protect the victim’s interests. The crime victim must prove that he has insufficient means.

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1.6. What evidence will I be required to present in support of my claim?

When a claim for damages is put forward, the grounds and amount of the claim must be clear. Evidence supporting the grounds of the claim for damages should prove causality between the crime perpetrated and the damage caused.

1.7. If I am awarded damages by the court, is there any special assistance available to me as a crime victim for the enforcement of the judgment against the offender?

If damages are awarded in criminal proceedings, the judgment is enforced in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Act on Bailiffs and Enforcement (Act No 233/1995 – Rules of Enforcement). These laws do not contain provisions exclusively concerning crime victims.

2. Obtaining compensation from the state or by a public body.

2.1. Is it possible to obtain compensation from the state or by a public body?

This issue is governed by Act No 215/2006 on compensation for victims of violent crime. Such compensation is available. Compensation may be sought by a victim who is a national of the Slovak Republic or another Member State of the European Union, or who is a stateless person residing in the Slovak Republic or other Member State if the bodily harm occurred in the Slovak Republic. This compensation is paid by the state.

2.2. Is the possibility limited to victims that have suffered certain types of crime?

Act No 215/2006 stipulates that compensation is available only to victims who have suffered damage as a result of intentional violent crime.

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2.3. Is the possibility limited to victims that have sustained certain types of injury?

The law does not limit compensation to only certain types of injury sustained by the victim.

2.4. Can relatives or dependants of victims who have died as a result of a crime obtain compensation?

Under Act No 215/2006, compensation is available to the surviving spouse or child. In the absence of such persons, a surviving parent of a victim who has died as a result of a crime may obtain compensation.

2.5. Is the possibility of obtaining compensation limited to persons of a certain nationality or persons residing in a certain country?

Compensation may be sought by a victim who is a national of the Slovak Republic or another Member State, or who is a stateless person residing in the Slovak Republic or other Member State if the bodily harm occurred in the Slovak Republic.

2.6. Can I apply for compensation from a Member State, if the crime was committed in another country? If so, under what conditions?

This issue is governed by Section 11 of Act No 215/2006, which provides that, if a national of the Slovak Republic, a national of another Member State residing in the Slovak Republic, or a stateless person residing in the Slovak Republic or other Member State suffers bodily harm as a result of a crime committed in another Member State, this victim may seek compensation from the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic. The assisting authority of the Slovak Republic is the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic.

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The assisting authority of the Slovak Republic provides the victim with information concerning the compensation conditions that apply in the Member State where the crime resulting in bodily harm was committed, and with the forms necessary to apply for this compensation. On request, the victim is provided with assistance to complete these forms.

The assisting authority of the Slovak Republic promptly sends the application and supporting documents to the decision-making authority of the Member State in which the crime resulting in bodily harm was committed.  Where necessary, the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic provides a victim submitting an application for compensation with assistance necessary to provide or send additional information requested by the decision-making body. At the victim’s request, the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic sends this information to the decision-making authority of the Member State.

A national of an EU Member State residing in a Member State other than the Slovak Republic who sustained bodily harm in the Slovak Republic as the result of a crime is entitled to apply for compensation under Act No 215/2006 in accordance with the procedure laid down in the law of the Member State in which he is resides. The decision-making body of the Slovak Republic delivers rulings on such applications.

On receipt of an application, the decision-making body of the Slovak Republic promptly acknowledges receipt of the application to the victim and the assisting authority dispatching the application, and provides information on the case-officer and the estimated time it will take to reach a decision in the matter.

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2.7. Is it necessary to have the crime reported to the police?

Act No 215/2006 does not provide for the duty to report the crime to the police.

2.8. Is it necessary to await the outcome of any police investigations or criminal proceedings before I can apply?

A victim may apply for compensation once a final judgment or penalty notice is delivered in criminal proceedings finding the perpetrator guilty of a crime that caused bodily harm to the victim, or once a final judgment is delivered acquitting the perpetrator on the grounds that he lacks criminal liability because of his age or insanity and, at the same time, the victim’s bodily harm has not been compensated by other means.

It follows that it is necessary to wait for the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

2.9. If the offender has been identified, is it necessary to first try to get compensation from the offender?

The law does not require the victim to try to get compensation from the offender prior to submitting an application for compensation.

2.10. If the offender has not been identified or convicted, is it still possible to qualify for compensation? If so, what evidence do I need to supply in support of my application?

If the offender perpetrating the crime that caused bodily harm to the victim has not been identified or is in hiding, or cannot be prosecuted on account of a legal obstacle, and at the same time the victim has not been fully compensated by other means, the victim is entitled to apply for compensation provided that the outcome of the investigation (or abridged investigation) by law enforcement bodies does not give rise to reasonable doubts that a crime was committed that resulted in the bodily harm to the victim.

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The law does not specify the evidence that needs to be submitted if the offender has not been identified. Any evidence supporting the claim must be submitted.

2.11. Is there a time limit for making the application for compensation?

The decision-making body, i.e. the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, is responsible for reaching a decision on whether to grant compensation and for paying such compensation pursuant to a written application from the victim. An application must be lodged with that body within 18 months of the date of the crime resulting in bodily harm. Applications submitted after this time limit are not taken into consideration.

If a judgment or penalty notice is delivered after the 18-month time limit, an application must be submitted to the decision-making body within six months of the date on which the judgment or penalty notice becomes final. If a criminal court holds that the victim should resort to civil proceedings or take the claim to another authority, the application must be filed within six months of the date on which the ruling on the claim in civil proceedings or in procedure before another authority becomes final. Applications submitted after this time limit are not taken into consideration.

2.12. For which losses can I be compensated?

Under Act No 215/2006 it is possible to provide compensation for bodily harm, grievous bodily harm, death, rape, sexual violence and sexual abuse caused as a result of a crime committed by another person. Compensation for damage to health includes compensation for pain and the loss of social standing.

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2.13. How will the compensation be calculated?

The provisions of the special legislation on compensation for pain and compensation for loss of social standing (Act No 437/2004) are applied to the calculation of compensation for damage to health. Compensation for loss of social standing cannot be increased. If a crime results in death, the victim is entitled to compensation totalling fifty times the minimum wage. If multiple victims are entitled to compensation, this sum is divided between them equally. If a victim suffers bodily harm as a result of rape or sexual violence, the victim is entitled to compensation for non-material damage totalling ten times the minimum wage.

2.14. Is there a minimum and/or maximum amount that can be awarded?

In the case of bodily harm, the victim is entitled to a maximum amount comprising the difference between the compensation calculated according to the procedure under question 2.13 and the total sum already obtained by the victim as compensation for bodily harm. The total amount of compensation awarded under Act No 215/2006 may not be more than fifty times the minimum wage.

When calculating the compensation, the extent to which the victim was co-responsible for the bodily harm is considered, as is the action taken by the victim to obtain compensation from the offender.

2.15. Will the compensation that I have received, or can receive, for the same losses but from other sources (such as insurance) be deducted from the compensation from the state?

A victim who obtains compensation for bodily harm under the law in question, or his legal representative, is obliged to return all funds awarded as compensation for bodily harm other than under Act No 215/2006 (up to the amount of compensation awarded under that Act) to the ministry’s account within five years of the date on which compensation was granted. The obligation to return all funds to the ministry’s account as indicated above lapses if the state does not seek recovery of the funds within two years after expiry of the time limit above.

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At the victim’s request, the Ministry of Justice may, in the name of the state, waive the right to the recovery of funds after expiry of the two-year time limit if warranted by the victim’s social situation, the extent of bodily harm caused or the amount of compensation awarded under Act No 215/.

2.16. Are there any other criteria that can influence my chance of receiving compensation, or how the amount of compensation is calculated, such as my own behaviour in relation to the event that has caused the injury?

When calculating the compensation, the extent to which the victim was co-responsible for the bodily harm is considered, as is the action taken by the victim to obtain compensation from the offender.

2.17. Can I get an advance on the compensation? If so, under what conditions?

The law does not envisage the granting of advances to the victim before the application for compensation is settled.

2.18. Where can I get the necessary forms and further information on how to apply? Is there a special help line or website that I can use?

Special forms are required when submitting an application to the decision-making body of another state. These forms are available from the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic. Information relating to compensation for crime victims can be found at www.pomocobetiam.sk or may be obtained by telephoning the number 0850 111 321, which has been set up by a civic association called Assistance to Victims of Violence (Pomoc obetiam násilia).

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2.19. Can I get legal assistance for making the application?

If a national of the Slovak Republic, a national of another Member State residing in the Slovak Republic, or a stateless person residing in the Slovak Republic or other Member State suffers bodily harm as a result of a crime committed in another Member State, this victim may seek compensation from the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic.

The assisting authority of the Slovak Republic provides the victim with information concerning the compensation conditions that apply in the Member State where the crime resulting in bodily harm was committed, and with the forms necessary to apply for such compensation. On request, the victim is provided with assistance to complete these forms.

Where necessary, the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic provides a victim submitting an application for compensation with assistance necessary to provide or send additional information requested by the decision-making body of another Member State. At the victim’s request, the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic sends this information to the decision-making authority of the other Member State.

The civic association Assistance to Victims of Violence offers free legal assistance to victims of violence.

2.20. Where do I send the application?

As indicated in the answers above, the application must be submitted to the assisting authority of the Slovak Republic; alternatively victims can contact the civic association Assistance to Victims of Violence.

2.21. Are there any victim-support organisations that can give further assistance?

As stated above, the civic association Assistance to Victims of Violence provides free legal assistance.

Further information

Is there any means of getting compensation directly from the offender?

This possibility exists. In the light of the information above, a victim may claim damages directly from the offender in criminal proceedings; the criminal court decides on this claim in accordance with substantive law on compensation - these provisions are enshrined in the Civil Code. It is also possible for the victim to seek damages directly from the offender in civil proceedings if no claim was lodged in criminal proceedings or if such a claim was not upheld in full.

« Compensation to crime victims - General information | Slovakia - General information »

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Last update: 21-01-2009

 
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