Safeguarding Suspects’ Rights in Europe: A Comparative Perspective
New Criminal Law Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, Fall 2011
56 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 24, 2011
This article analyses the protection of suspects’ rights within the relatively new sphere of EU criminal justice. It evaluates both EU and ECHR protections through the lens of comparative criminal justice, emphasizing the importance of understanding the ways that safeguards for suspects operate in practice across different jurisdictions. By linking together analysis of ECHR fair trial guarantees, EU measures to strengthen police and judicial cooperation, and comparative insights into the function of the defense lawyer, it brings a new perspective to the discussion of how best to protect suspects subject to EU cooperation measures. It challenges the effectiveness of mutual trust and recognition, which is the principle underpinning EU criminal justice cooperation, and which assumes ECHR compliance across Member States. In addition to uneven compliance and enforcement, ECHR protections lack the detail and prescriptive qualities required to protect adequately suspects subject to new EU measures for extradition and evidence sharing. Differences in criminal procedural tradition have made difficult any agreement on universal safeguards for suspects at the EU level, but the EU’s new incremental approach to defense rights through the Roadmap and recent ECHR caselaw have altered the legal landscape, giving cause for optimism.
Keywords: International Criminal law , EU
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