Luxembourg legal update — March 2013: criminal settlement soon in Luxembourg

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This section of Arendt & Medernach’s Luxembourg legal update for March 2013 focuses on the bill of law no. 6518, which is about to introduce ‘criminal settlement’ into the Luxembourg Code of Criminal Procedure.

Although the concept of criminal settlement is unfamiliar in civil law, it is certainly not a revolution. We are rather witnessing an unforeseeable and somewhat unavoidable development. The bill introducing criminal settlement is intended to create a new means to avoid lengthy criminal trials and unclog the courts.

Though “criminal settlement” is commonly associated with the US equivalent of “plea bargaining”, it should be stressed that both concepts differ substantially from one another. For example, the US “plea bargaining” plays a significant part in the US criminal justice system whereas the Luxembourg procedure of criminal settlement will only apply in certain limited cases. Furthermore, Luxembourg is not taking a leading role in this area in Europe. In fact, 18 Member States of the Council of Europe (including all of Luxembourg’s neighboring countries) have already introduced criminal settlement procedures into their legal arsenals which are more or less similar to the concept of plea bargaining…

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