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Citizens’ rights when suspected or accused of a crime – making sure the picture’s the same around Europe

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European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers

January 2017

Question

How do you make a clear distinction between ‘completeness’ and ‘conformity’ issues when it comes to assessing EU law in all EU countries?

Answer

Work closely with the client to determine a common understanding of both and so ensure consistency across all country analyses.

Legislation isn’t always black and white. The grey areas make analysing how EU laws are implemented in different Member States tricky. Tipik’s legal team helped the European Commission’s Directorate-General Justice and Consumers to assess how completely laws around the rights of the accused and suspects in criminal proceedings were being applied in each EU country. The line between completeness and conformity issues was however, not always clear. Our team worked closely with the client, developing a clear common understanding of what constitutes issues of completeness and what constitutes issues around conformity in the national laws to ensure a consistent and fair approach to the analysis across all countries.

People suspected or accused of a crime in the EU enjoy key rights, including:

  • the right to access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings
  • the right to have a third party informed when they are deprived of liberty
  • the right to communicate with consular authorities.

Our team helped the European Commission establish if these key rights are available to all EU citizens.

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