Challenge of the duration of the criminal trial

  • Ionuț Borlan Faculty of Law, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca; Cluj-Napoca District Court
Keywords: the challenge of the duration of the criminal trial, the reasonable term for resolving a criminal case, European Court of Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Articles 488^1-488^6 and Article 8 of the Criminal Procedure Code, Article 21 paragraph (2) of the Romanian Constitution


In an attempt to avoid the repeated violation of the reasonable duration of the criminal trial, the legislator of the Criminal Procedure Code in force implemented for the first time the challenge procedure regarding the duration of the criminal trial, which was already functional in civil matters. Although it was not taken into account at the first moment of the drafting of the Code of Criminal Procedure, this procedure was introduced later, being entered into force simultaneously with the new regulation.

Judicial practices in the matter reveal that this procedure has been used countless times, often representing an effective means of speeding up the criminal process, thus ensuring respecting the litigantsʼ right to obtain a court decision within a reasonable time.

Having a sufficiently clear and precise regulation, the courts faced situations that apparently escaped the incidence of the present procedure, being sometimes forced to resort to the conventional standards developed in this matter by the European Court of Human Rights.

After almost nine years since the entry into force of the challenge procedures regarding the duration of the criminal trial, the judicial practice appears to be still non-unitary, which is why, through this study, we aimed to bring some clarifications on the way in which the legal provisions should be interpreted and applied, including from the perspective of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights that facilitated the introduction of this procedure.