Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

DROI1214 - Criminal procedure + Exercises session with casus


Credits : 4

Lecturer :
Teaching assistants :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 35 hours of theory and 9 hours of tutorials with cases.

Language of instruction :

Learning activities :
Learning outcomes :
By the end of the course, the students should be able to master the fundamental notions of the criminal law procedure, not only in terms of theory, but also in its practical implications. The students should be able to explain the different stages that mark the criminal trial (information, inquiry, trial, right of appeal, etc.) as well as the role and responsibilities of the different protagonists who comprise it (prosecutor, judge, defence, civil party, etc.). The students should also be able to use the different sources of criminal law procedure, be they legislative or jurisprudential, national or international.
The exercise sessions (tutorials) allow the students to learn how to find the solution to a legal issue of a practical nature. Therefore, they require a rigorous (a high degree of accuracy is expected) and critical (the students should consider the existing theses with a discerning mind) analysis.
The tutorials enable the mastery of the legal methodology: research and use of the sources of law, structuring of a text, correctness of quotations and bibliographical references.
These sessions also invite the students to discover the advantages and limitations of a collective approach. Indeed, although their written work has to be personal and original, the students are encouraged to work together, especially in the research of sources and the identification of given legal issues. These tutorials enable the students to develop their capacity to express themselves orally on a legal subject.
Finally, taking place over a period of around three months, these sessions allow the students to learn time-management, by meeting deadlines and external constraints such as typing, the number of pages…

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

Co-requisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

Course contents :
Having set out the guiding principles of criminal law procedure, the course will describe the exercise and suppression modes of public action and civil action. It will then move on to the protagonists and characteristics of the pre-trial stage (information and inquiry) and trial stage of the criminal trial, ending with the examination of appeal rights.
The practical work consists in writing an essay developing concrete issues on a given situation.
The course is a lecture centred around: emphasising the most important points of the subject matter; establishing links between the different parts of the course and comparisons between principles and concepts; the commentary of applicable clauses and the illustration of principles based on decisions of jurisprudence.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The sessions are organised in different stages in order to allow the professors to mark out the progression of the students. From the beginning of the course, the students have at their disposal the specifications manual, setting out the procedure to follow and providing bibliographical references.
An intermediate stage invites the students to hand in a status report (a review of the research that has already been done), which will enable the professor to adjust the direction taken by the student. Throughout the tutorial sessions, the probationary lecturer will be available each week to answer any relevant questions from the students and also for the teachers to assess the students' work.
Finally, the tutorials will end with a correction session, which allows a positive assessment of the work achieved.
The tutorials require the compliance with the instructions included in the specifications manual.
The teaching methods will be evolutionary given the health situation: the first lectures will be given in «full distanciel» via Microsoft Teams, at least until 27 February 2021. However, a return to face-to-face could then be envisaged depending on the evolution of the health situation. The same goes for practical work. More precise instructions will be communicated to you during the second semester, given the evolution of the situation.

Assessment methods and criteria :
The assessment is an oral or written examination relating to the subject matter studied in class, composed of several questions that allow a written preparation. The questions aim to assess the students' level of knowledge, their capability to read, understand and explain legislative texts and decisions of jurisprudence related to the subject matter.
However, the examination procedures could be affected by the evolution of the health situation. More specific instructions will be communicated to you in this regard as soon as we have a better visibility on how the June and September sessions can be organized.
When the practical work is finalised, the students are marked out of 20 points.
The evaluation criteria are: the quality of the intellectual approach and the resolution of the practical case, the structure of the written work, the rigor both in substance and in form, the bibliography and the correct use of sources, compliance with instructions, spelling and participation in class.

Recommended or required reading :
The course uses the following book as support:
M-A. Beernaert, N. Colette-Basecq, Ch. Guillain, L. Kennes, P. Mandoux, M. Preumont, D. Vandermeersch, Introduction à la procédure pénale, La Charte, 8e ed. 2021. Slides (powerpoint) also used in class facilitate the commentary of legal texts and the analysis of decisions of jurisprudence. These slides are available on the SaintLouis website.
The students should also be in possession of an updated Penal Code.
See the specifications relating to the tutorials.

Other information :
Tools that the students may have at their disposal during the examination:
The students should have an updated Penal Code (Codes BAC are sufficiant).

This Code can be highlighted, divided into sections by “post-its”, but cannot contain any annotations (with the exception of numerical references to other legislative dispositions, without any commentary). The students can supplement their Code with additional texts (conventions, treaties, laws, regulations…), however these documents cannot contain annotations.

The students can have at their disposal the jurisprudential decisions studied during the course and the tutorials as well as the diagram of the criminal trial. Again these documents cannot contain any annotations.

The Criminal book (see above), the table of contents , the book and the powerpoint cannot be brought to the examination; only the jurisprudential decisions and the diagram of criminal procedure (without annotations).

The resolution of practical case implies the use of different sources: course syllabus, non-exhaustive bibliography of the specifications manual, library research (legislation, doctrine, jurisprudence)...