Panama Accusatory Penal System Proceeding


Panama Accusatory Penal System Proceeding.

The penal proceeding is changing. In the Panama accusatory penal system proceeding, the defence team made up of attorneys, forensic experts, private investigators and private detectives should have the right to search for evidence, take witness statements, and present their own evidence and counter evidence to the judge.

The difference between the accusatory and the inquisitory proceeding is evident. In the inquisitory proceeding the public prosecutor and the judge are on the same side and the defence team does not have legal power to do its own investigations with the help of private investigators and detectives.

Many efforts will have to be made by the authorities for the implementation of this new system. The prosecutors, the judicial police and the judges will have to understand very well how to apply this new system that introduces new measures to protect the rights of the accused.

Implementing these measures, while maintaining an attitude of guarantee of rights, will be the main challenge that the authorities will have to face. Just consider the precautionary measures, among which preventive prison is only the last measure to be applied in terms of priorities. Changing the inquisitorial mentality of all the actors of the law will be difficult. Even defense lawyers will have to change the way they defend. In fact, the accusatory penal system basically provides an oral procedure to which lawyers are not prepared.

In terms of justice, the accusatory proceeding is fairer, however the penal and proceeding codes must be amended so as to allow the defence team, made up of attorneys, private detectives and private investigators, to perform such task. This does not seem to be the case today, therefore the new Panama accusatory penal system proceeding might be a worse system for the rights of the defendant.

For more information read the article Proceso Acusatorio published in La Estrella on 10 April 2010.

ISOG private investigators, private detectives and lawyers can advice you on how Panama accusatory penal system proceeding works.