Skip to main content

Rights of suspects and accused

Designing criminal law

The EU works to ensure that the basic rights of suspects and accused persons are protected. Common minimum standards are necessary for judicial decisions taken by 1 EU country to be recognised by the others.

To turn this area of justice based on mutual recognition and mutual trust into reality, the European Commission is continuously working on strengthening citizens’ rights in criminal proceedings.

When designing and implementing criminal law, it is important for the EU to strike the right balance between on one hand, measures that protect the rights of suspects and accused and on the other, facilitating investigation and prosecution of crime.

Protecting the rights of suspects and accused

Much progress has been made to date, as the EU has adopted 6 directives on procedural rights for suspects and accused persons as set out in the roadmap of 2009. The EU established rules on

With a communicationand 2 recommendations on safeguards for vulnerable personssuspected or accused in criminal proceedings, published in 2013, the Commission took further action to protect people in criminal proceedings who are particularly vulnerable. 

Funding

Justice programme 2014-2020

Related rights

Articles 47-49 of the the EU Charter of fundamental rights protect the following 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. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you must address your complaint to the relevant national authority.

How to report a breach of your rights

Documents

17 MARCH 2021
Implementation report on the directive on presumption of innocence and the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings
English
(163.61 KB - HTML)
Download

26 SEPTEMBER 2019
Implementation report on the directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings
English
(206.23 KB - HTML)
Download

27 SEPTEMBER 2019
Implementation report on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings
English
(173.92 KB - HTML)
Download

25 SEPTEMBER 2019
Implementation report on the right to information in criminal proceedings
English
(196.25 KB - HTML)
Download

2 FEBRUARY 2018
Factsheet - Your rights if accused or suspected of criminal offences in the EU
English
(295.29 KB - PDF)
Download

9 OCTOBER 2017
EU Charter of fundamental rights - where to go in case of violation?
English
(589.14 KB - PDF)
Download

[node:58493:view-mode:teaser]