How to engage a specialist for documenting damaged or destroyed property
Before engaging a specialist, it is necessary to understand who they are and why they are needed.
According to Ukrainian procedural law, in criminal proceedings, a specialist is a person with special knowledge and skills who can provide consultations, explanations, references, and conclusions during pre-trial investigation and court proceedings on matters requiring specific expertise.
A specialist may be involved to provide direct technical assistance (photography, drafting diagrams, plans, drawings, sample collection for examination, etc.) by parties in criminal proceedings during pre-trial investigation and by the court during the trial (Article 71 of the Criminal Procedure Code).
In civil and commercial proceedings, a specialist is a person with special knowledge and skills necessary for the application of technical means, appointed by the court to provide consultations and technical assistance during procedural actions related to the use of such technical means (photography, drafting diagrams, plans, drawings, sample collection for examination, etc.) (Article 74 of the Civil Procedure Code and Article 71 of the Commercial Procedure Code).
In case of discovering the destruction or damage of immovable property, it is necessary to immediately contact the National Police at 102 and report the discovered fact.
After receiving a report of such a fact, a forensic specialist will be involved as part of the investigative-operational group of the National Police, who will properly document the scene, create a plan, and collect all forensic material necessary for further appointment and conduct of a forensic examination.
It should be noted that during the inspection of the scene by the investigative-operational group, proper procedural documentation of the fact of destruction or damage to property is carried out in the form of a protocol with the addition of photo-video materials, diagrams, and other materials that can be used later in civil or commercial court proceedings.
If the fact of destruction or damage to property is documented by representatives of the local community, qualified assistance from a specialist can be sought from state specialized forensic institutions of the Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Internal Affairs, or non-governmental forensic institutions whose employees can act as specialists and have a high level of professional training to ensure proper inspection and compliance with legal requirements for documenting the fact of destruction or damage.
The publication was prepared within the framework of the Project “Increasing awareness among self-governing municipalities and citizens on recording the destruction caused by war”, which is implemented by the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils with the support of the “Phoenix” Project, which is implemented by the Eastern Europe Fund at the expense of the European Union.