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How to surrender to justice

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  • Last updated:2019-01-03
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How to surrender to justice

1. The definition of surrender to justice

Surrender refers to the fact that a criminal actively states his or her crime to an investigation authority,(such as the prosecutors' office, the police station) or to a pulic servant (like a prosecutor or police) before the crime is discovered and actively faces a trial.

2. The legal basis and purpose

Article 62 of the Criminal Code provides: "The penalty may be commuted for a criminal who surrenders himself or herself to face a trial before the crime is discovered. but, if special provision has been made, then such provision shall apply."

The so-called special provisions refer to the provisions of the separate articles of the Criminal Code that deal with commutation or exemption from penalty.

These include, for example, Article 102, Paragraph 3 of Article 122, and Paragraph 2 of Article 154 of the Criminal Code.

Consequently, the principle of automatic commutation has to be applied to surrender to justice. The legislative intent is to encourage a criminal to repent of what he or she has done and make the investigation authority discover the crime as soon as possible. It means that no innocent will be regarded as a suspect.

3. The necessany elements for surrender to justice

(1) Surrender to justice must be made before the crime is discovered, which means that the investigation organizations or civil servants have not come to the knowledge of the existence of the crime or if they have known the existence of the crime, they still do not know who the criminal is. If only the criminal and others know the crime, it is still considered as a crime undiscovered.

(2) As for surreneder to justice, a person should tell the crime he or she has committed–actively telling the whole story.

(3) Surrender to justice must be made to an investigation organization or a public servant and criminal must be willing to face a trial. If he or she escapes or dodges after making surrender to justice, the case cannot be established. Surrender to jutice to the victim is ineffective.

4. Modes of surrender to justce

(1) Surrender to justice may be made either by oral statement or by a written report. In a written report, the words of surrender to justice needn't be shown.

(2) Surrender to justice may be made either by the criminal or by someone he or she entrusts.

(3) The criminal may either surrender himself or herself to an investigtion authority directly or go through a non-investigation authonity, but in the latter one, the case of surrender to justice comes one effect only after it is forwarded to the investigation authority by the non-investigation authority.


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