Three keys to understanding the Opportunity Criteria


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 «Right consists of three basic rules or principles: live honestly, do not harm others, and give to each his own. It is the art of the good and the equitable». Ulpian

What happens when an individual or legal entity commits a crime? Does it have to face the traditional criminal process, or are there alternative measures to de-judicialize it? Today we share with you an interesting solution: the Opportunity Criteria. Here are three keys to understand it.

1. What is the Opportunity Criteria?

Es una valiosa herramienta con la que cuenta el sistema procesal penal guatemalteco, concebida como una salida alterna, en donde se puede aplicar la conciliación y acuerdos entre las partes. Recurrir a esta opción le permitiría al Ministerio Público enfocarse en otros casos en los cuales sea necesario llevar a cabo el proceso de la persecución penal completo, y reduciría la mora del Organismo Judicial ya que no es necesario recurrir a un juzgado para alcanzar un acuerdo.

2.   ¿Cuál es el objetivo del Criterio de Oportunidad?

The objective is to increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system, through mechanisms that allow the administration of justice to be relieved of its work. This will result in minimal State intervention in social conflicts where there is direct participation of the protagonists: victim and defendant. The Opportunity Criteria makes it possible to seek private reparation of the conflict, which means that public criminal action is effective in the prosecution of crimes where there is serious damage to property.

3. When is the Opportunity Criteria applied?

This figure works in a series of situations: when the threat against the property has ceased or the injury has been repaired and the damages caused have been satisfied; when there are agreements in this regard, or when the values of society have been secured. There are exceptions for the offenders or accomplices of the crime of concealment, when they provide information that leads to the successful prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators of criminal acts.

The Opportunity Criteria is an excellent tool to expedite the criminal process.