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Presumption of innocence and right of defence

Know your rights

Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. Respect for the rights of the defence of anyone who has been charged shall be guaranteed.

This right is enshrined in article 48 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

What to do if your rights have been breached

The authorities of EU countries are bound to comply with the Charter of fundamental rights only when implementing EU law. Fundamental rights are protected by your country's constitution.

What the Commission is doing to protect your rights


Directive 2016/343/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings.

Directive 2012/29/EU the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA.

Directive 2012/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 on the right to information in criminal proceedings.

Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings.

Funding programmes

Justice programme 2021 - 2027


4 MAY 2017
EU Charter of Fundamental Rights infograph - where to go in case of breach?
(289.74 KB - PDF)