About proceedings

The Code of Criminal Procedure lays down the rights and obligations of the parties to the proceedings and regulates the initiation and conduct of proceedings on behalf of the Republic of Estonia.


Conducting proceedings related to criminal offences

The manner of conducting criminal proceedings is set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure

Criminal proceedings are initiated and conducted on behalf of the Republic of Estonia. If facts referring to a criminal offence become evident, the investigating authority and the Prosecutor’s Office are obligated to conduct criminal proceedings. In criminal proceedings, the investigating authority clarifies the facts of the crime and the Prosecutor’s Office leads the pre-trial proceedings. When the pre-trial proceedings are completed, the Prosecutor’s Office closes the case or sends a statement of charges to court.

In court proceedings, the Prosecutor’s Office represents the public prosecution.

The language of criminal proceedings is Estonian. A party to the proceedings who does not speak Estonian is guaranteed the assistance of an interpreter.

Compensation for expenses of parties to the proceedings

If you are a victim, witness or another party to the proceedings provided for by law, your expenses will be compensated for in accordance with the rules for the payment of remuneration and compensation for expenses to participants in criminal, misdemeanour, civil and administrative proceedings.

Restrictions on disclosure of information concerning criminal proceedings

Information concerning pre-trial proceedings may only be disclosed with the permission of and to the extent specified by the Prosecutor’s Office.

If the prohibition of disclosure of information concerning pre-trial proceedings is violated, the pre-trial investigation judge may, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, impose a fine on the party to the proceedings, another person participating in the criminal proceedings or a non-party on the basis of a court order. The suspect and the accused are not fined.