Authorities’ obligation to provide information to crime victims

Information is a vital component of victims' rights at all stages of the proceedings, a fact that is recognised both by Article 6 of the Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings and by Chapter 2 of the Victims' Directive.

Besides access to information on the progress of their case, the majority of victims may be in need of information on their rights within the criminal proceedings as such, and on the available means to exert these rights. The table below provides an overview of the right to information in the EU Member States. It should be noted that reports show that information is regularly provided to victims even in those EU Member States where there is no legal obligation for the public authorities to do so. For example, while the police is legally obliged to provide information on available victim support services only in 15 EU Member States, in practice victims are provided with this information in 21 EU Member States. Similarly, victims are notified of decision to discontinue the case in 27 EU Member States although it is obligatory in only 23 EU Member States.


Overview of the victims' rights to information
  Obliged to provide info on victim support? Obliged to provide info on compen-sation? Obliged to provide info on rights / role in criminal proceed-ings? Interpret-ation available (free of charge)? - view map Notify victims of right to info about decision not to proceed with or end investi-gation? Notify victims of time and place of the trial,  nature of the charges? Notify victims of final judgment?
BE (✔)
BG (✔)
DE (✔) (✔)
DK (✔)
EL (✔)     (✔)  
ES (✔)
IE (✔)   (✔) (✔) (✔) (✔)
IT (✔) (✔) (✔)    
LT (✔) (✔) (✔)  
LV   (✔)
MT (✔) (✔) (✔) (✔) (✔)  
NL (✔)   (✔)  
PL (✔) (✔)  
PT (✔) (✔)
SI (✔) (✔)  
Total 26 24 24 27 27 28 23

Note: In some Member States limitations apply to the obligation to inform depending on the nature of the crime; for example in Greece, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain only in cases of domestic violence and/or human trafficking, and only in certain cases in Italy. A tick in brackets shows that such limitations apply; or that while police in a given Member State may not be legally obliged to provide the respective information, this is nonetheless systematically provided as a matter of principle.

Interpretation available (free of charge)?


Source: FRA, 2014

  Interpretation available (free of charge)
  No legal obligation to provide interpretation free of charge but provided systematically
  No interpretation available (free of charge)