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2020, vol. 59, iss. 87, pp. 179-195
The testimony of senior citizens in the process of proving criminal acts
aUniversity of Priština - Kosovska Mitrovica, Faculty of Law
bUniversity of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Belgrade

emailsasa.atanasov@pr.ac.rs, bozidar.otasevic@gmail.com
Keywords: senior witnesses; inquiry; rules of procedure; tactical rules
Abstract
Recent studies, as well as the judicial and criminalistic practice, show that senior citizens can testify as reliable witnesses in the process of proving the commission of a criminal offence and provide complete (valid) statements, provided that they are subejct to adequately conducted inquiry. According to the latest population census of the Republic of Serbia (from 2011), there was a total of 1.250.316 registered citizens over the age of 65. It implies that approximately every sixth citizen of Serbia belonged to the category of senior citizens. Considering the general improvement of the living standard, the development of medical science and diverse possibilities of medical treatment in the contemporary world, the percentage of senior citizens in the total population of Serbia will keep rising, and it may be expected that senior citizens will soon become the prevalent population category. If the growth of human average lifespan continues, according to certain calculations, an average lifespan in sixty years will be 100 years for men, and 103 years for women. Thus, it is quite probable that that senior citizens are likely to appear in criminal proceedings in the capacity of witnesses. For this reason, there is a need for more extensive rearch on the fundamental psychophysical characteristics of senior citizens and determining relevant criminal law rules and procedures which would create objective and subjective conditions for their participation in criminal proceedings, particularly in terms of obtaining a complete, accurate and valid tertimony in the process of proving the commisison of a criminal offence. Concurrently, it would prevent secondary victimization of these witnesses. In this paper, we indicate the psychophysical traits of senior citizes, elaborate on the issue of interrogating senior citizen witnesses from the aspect of criminal procedure norms and rules of criminal tactics, and discuss the current issues encountered by interrogators in the course of the inquiry, with the aim of ensuring a better quality of witness statements of senior citizens.
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About

article language: Serbian
document type: Review Paper
DOI: 10.5937/zrpfn0-23472
published in SCIndeks: 02/09/2020
peer review method: double-blind
Creative Commons License 4.0