Procedural Safeguards

This section charts the development of the EU proposals on procedural safeguards from 2004 to the present day and the ECBAs contribution to the discussion.

On 28 April 2004 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a Framework Decision on certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union (9318/04 COPEN 61 + ADD 1). There followed a long process of discussion and negotiation between the Member States but despite the efforts of the ECBA, other NGOs and many Member States, it became clear there was no collective political will to agree the provisions and the proposal was reduced to little more than a letter of intent which held no compulsion or compellability.

However, during the Swedish Presidency, a programme to strengthen procedural safeguards was resurrected and the Stockholm Programme introduced a Roadmap of Procedural Safeguards which provides a step-by-step programme as follows:

Measure A:
Translation and Interpretation

Measure B:
Information on Rights and Information about the Charges

Measure C:
Legal Advice and Legal Aid

Measure D:
Communication with Relatives, Employers and Consular Authorities

Measure E:
Special Safeguards for Suspected or Accused Persons who are Vulnerable

Measure F:
A Green Paper on the Right to Review of the Grounds for Pre-Trial Detention

The ECBA continues to monitor the progress each step of the road map, and is providing technical and expert legal advice to the EU institutions as well as collating information and data to contribute to the shaping and development of this legislation.

Please find a letter from representatives of the Open Society Justice Initiative, Fair Trials International, Amnesty International, JUSTICE, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and the European Criminal Bar Association.

Speech by Viviane Reding,
Vice-President of the European Commission, EU Justice Commissioner

Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a pleasure to be here today in this splendid Hall, home to so many distinguished lawyers over the ages, and none more so than Thomas More, that great English lawyer and defender of universal values, who went on to become governor of Lincoln's Inn...