The Contribution of the European Charter of Human Rights to the Right to Legal Aid
Edita Gruodyte and Stefan Kirchner. The Contribution of the European Charter of Human Rights to the Right to Legal Aid. In Protecting Human Rights in the EU. Contraversies and Challenges of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Editor Tanel Kerikmae, Springer, 2014, Forthcoming
Posted: 21 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 2, 2013
In many countries legal aid is an indispensable tool in order to ensure that everybody has access to the judicial system. In Europe, despite the pride of place that is rightly given to the European Convention on Human Rights, Human Rights guarantees are found also within EU law. EU human rights have long been known to be relevant in the context of fair trial guarantees in general, for example, as they pertain to European Criminal law. But while legal aid makes sense from the perspective of the state and is important for many persons who are involved in legal disputes, the question needs to be asked whether, and if so, how the European Charter of Human Rights contributes to strengthening the right to legal aid?
In this article the authors attempt to answer this question by looking at the topic from the perspective of both practicing attorneys and academicians. Based on our practical experience, we begin with the need of poor clients for legal aid, as well as the regulation of legal aid in different states. Afterwards, we will look at the right to a fair trial as it pertains to legal aid, paying attention to legal aid in different cases before answering the question of the EU Charter’s impact on legal aid.
Keywords: European Charter, Right to Legal Aid, Human Rights
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation