What is a guardian?
If the suspect of a crime, which involves a child, is the guardian or relative of the guardian, the guardian cannot represent the child. This means that if either of the parents is the suspect of a crime, which involves a child, either of the parents cannot represent the child. In this case, the child is appointed a guardian ad litem.
When the child’s parent or a person close to the child is suspected of the crime that the child is subject to, a child protection case is usually started alongside the criminal procedure. It is wise for the same guardian to represent the child in both the child protection case and the criminal case.
Authorities shall handle the acquisition of a guardian. The investigator in charge may complete an application to the Court of Justice on appointing a guardian. The application can also be made by the prosecutor, magistrate or a social authority. The order of a guardian is valid for the duration of the criminal case process for which preliminary investigation the order has been made. Costs incurred for ordering a guardian, as well as the remuneration for the guardian, is paid by the government.
Read moreCriminal procedure information for a young victim of crime
Victim Support Finland’s youth website