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15 Crim. Just. Rev. 37 (1990)
Prosecution in the Criminal Courts of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, Yugoslavia

handle is hein.journals/crmrev15 and id is 47 raw text is: Criminal Justice Review                               © 1990 College of Public and Urban Affairs
Volume 15, Number 1, Spring 1990                                    Georgia State University
Neven Cirkveni and George F. Cole
Prosecution in the criminal courts of Croatia is examined in the context of the inquisitorial model of
criminal justice and of the ideology and political structure of socialist Yugoslavia. The communal court of
Zagreb, the republic's capital, was the site of observations and interviews. Particular attention is paid to
the role of the investigative judge and his relationship to the prosecution process. Comparisons are made
to prosecution in the United States.
Research on the structure and processes of prosecution has revealed the
powerful position of the prosecutor in the criminal justice systems of
various countries (Carter, 1974; Cole, 1970; Cole & Sanders, 1981; George,
1984; Grosman, 1969; Hermann, 1974; Lithner, 1983; Moody & Tombs,
1982). These studies have pointed to the extensive powers of the
prosecutor, the role of discretion, and the sociopolitical influences that are
brought to bear on prosecutorial duties. This article examines prosecution
in the criminal courts of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, Yugoslavia. It is
based on interviews and observations made during a study of the
community court (opcinski sud) of Zagreb, the capital and major city of
the republic.' Because the literature on prosecution is based primarily on
the office as it functions in developed Western countries, the study
discussed here was designed to extend criminal justice research to
prosecution in a socialist country. The article first describes the major
features of the adversarial and inquisitorial systems, examines the
foundation of Yugoslav criminal justice, explores the processes of decision
making, and, finally, analyzes the role of prosecution. Given the
exploratory nature of the investigation, emphasis is on the structures of
decision making as influenced by the context of the sociopolitical
*This research was undertaken with the assistance of a Senior Research Fulbright-Hayes
Professorship granted to Dr. Cole and a Research Assistantship granted to Mr. Cirkveni by the
University of Connecticut Research Foundation. The hospitality and cooperation of Dr. Zvonimir
Separaovic, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, is greatly appreciated.
'The field research was conducted during February through June of 1984. Interviews were held with
judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Observations were made throughout the period in the
opcinski sud of Zagreb.

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