In a civil case the parties involved have a duty to remain in the truth. The duty of truth creates an obligation to be honest in procedural actions, which means that a party shall keep to the truth when making statements on the circumstances invoked by him or her in the case, and in commenting on the circumstances invoked by the opposing party (Code of Judicial Procedure chapter 14 section 1).
In a criminal case, the complainant has a so-called negative truth duty, which means that the complainant has no obligation to answer any questions. However, if the complainant decides to do so, he or she has an obligation to tell the truth (Government proposition to the Finnish Parliament 46/2014 p. 95).
In a criminal case, the defendant has no duty of truth. The duty of truth would contradict the principle that no one can be compelled to incriminate themselves (the privilege against self-incrimination).
The process fraud, or its attempt, is often considered when a party gives false information to the court. Most typically, the process fraud is done when giving a false statement at a trial.
A false statement in court can be a fraud in the statutory definition. Process fraud is a specific form of fraud and it does not have its own definition in our criminal law, hence the process fraud must be evaluated in the light of the frauds statutory definition in the Criminal Code (The Criminal Code of Finland chapter 36 section 1).
There are five basic characteristics of fraud: mistaking or taking advantage of a mistake, a mistake to the alleged victim as a result, an act of deception carried out by mistake, financial damage caused by mistake and the act is intentional. The requirement for intentionality means that the person knows the information they provide is quite likely to be inaccurate or misleading.
Process fraud causes the error of a court or other judicial authority in a criminal, dispute or administrative law case to issue an incorrect decision which is financially favoring or damaging a party. Process fraud is a fraud in the statutory definition, when the court, due to the misleading, ends up with a worse settlement for the other party than what it would be entitled to if the court had not been mistaken.
What makes a basic form of fraud a process fraud is the fact that the misleading occurs in front of a judicial authority.
Aasa-Law Ltd assists in cases where there are reasons to suspect that a false statement has been given to the court. We also have experience in situations where a person is unjustifiably suspected of presenting false information to the court.