Towards Common Standards on Rights of Suspected and Accused Persons in Criminal Proceedings in the EU?
Centre for European Policy Studies Working Paper
21 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2011
Date Written: February 1, 2010
The Swedish Presidency of the EU presented in July 2009 a new Roadmap with a view to fostering protection of suspected and accused persons in criminal proceedings in the Union. The Roadmap set out its vision to foster the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings across the EU. The same Presidency also presented a Draft Resolution on 31 July 2009 outlining the grounds and content of the Roadmap, which was adopted by the Council on the 30 November 2009. Its aim was to invite the European Commission to submit new legislative proposals covering the measures included in the Roadmap, and in this way overcome the obstacles encountered by a previous Commission initiative of 2004 on certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings throughout the EU.
This paper starts by making a short exposition of the general policy framework within which we need to understand the Council’s Roadmap on the promotion of procedural guarantees in criminal proceedings and its connection with the Stockholm Programme; reference is also made to former proposals in this policy area. Second, it provides an analysis of the proposed measures contained inside the Roadmap. We review what has been proposed and address its compatibility with what should have been included according to existing European standards; here special mention is made to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and the jurisprudence of the European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR). Third, the paper offers some critical reflections addressing the provisions encapsulated by the proposed Roadmap. Finally, we put forward a set of policy recommendations aiming at improving a future common legislative framework on procedural rights in the EU.
Keywords: European Criminal Law, European Union, procedural rights, European Convention of Human Rights
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