EU agrees on European Miranda warning

November 16, 2011 at 10:26 pm 1 comment

Nowadays the 27 European Union member-states treat differently (see a comparative research conducted by Prof. Taru Spronken as well as here) suspects in criminal proceedings. Some states are more diligent in informing the suspects about their fair-trial rights, in others the rights to legal assistance, interpretation and translation are conveyed very formally if at all. New draft directive will introduce Europe-wide Letter of Rights. Its main purpose is to assure that all suspects in criminal proceedings are promptly and effectively informed about some of the most important rights that might affect the development of the whole process. Althought the text is still a draft, the EU Parliament web site tells us about its basic structure:

“The Letter of Rights for suspected and accused persons should include:

  • the right to an interpreter and to a translation of the documents, if the person does not understand the language,

  • any entitlement to legal advice,

  • the right to be informed of the conditions for obtaining it free of charge,

  • the right to be informed of the accusation, and

  • the right to remain silent.

In the event of deprivation of liberty, the arrested person will have the following additional rights:

  • the right of access to the evidentiary material related to the case,

  • the right to contact relatives, employers and consular authorities,

  • the right to medical care,

  • the right to bail,

  • the right to be informed on how many hours/days the person may be deprived of liberty before being brought before a judicial authority,

  • the right to be informed on how he/she can challenge the arrest and how to obtain a review of the detention, including the time limits for doing so provided under national law, and

  • the right to be informed on the maximum period of pre-trial detention applicable to his/her case.

The text of the Letter of Rights will be translated in all 23  languages of the EU. When adopted the new directive should be applicable to more than 8 million criminal proceedings annually throughout the EU.

Read more about the Letter of Rights here. Indicative text of the Letter of Rights can be found here (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Entry filed under: Access to Justice, EU, Human Rights.

Access to justice and promotion of rights programs to be funded by the European Commission in 2014-2020 Thoughtful blog entry: Legal Power to the People

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