Access to justice

Access to justice is a core fundamental right and a central concept in the broader field of justice. However, it is a right that faces a number of challenges throughout the EU.

While access to justice typically means having a case heard in a court of law, it can more broadly be achieved or supported through mechanisms such as national human rights institutions, equality bodies and ombudsman institutions, as well as the European Ombudsman at EU level. Yet, FRA research shows that access to justice is problematic in a number of EU Member States. This is due to several factors, including a lack of rights awareness and poor knowledge about the tools that are available to access justice (see EU-MIDIS, in particular Data in Focus report 3: Rights Awareness).

Drawing on its research findings, the Agency seeks to provide evidence-based advice to policy makers at EU and national level in order to improve awareness of and access to justice. This includes the provision of information about how to remove existing obstacles that hinder people’s ability to access justice, including groups such as children and migrants.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union guarantees the right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, including legal aid to those who lack sufficient resources. At the same time, access to justice is also an enabling  right that allows those who perceive their rights as having been violated to enforce them and seek redress.

Victims’ rights and support

Explore the mapping of victims’ rights and support in the EU online >> 

Maps and tables allow users to view some of the key aspects related to support services for victims of crime.

 

Latest news View all

22/06/2018

German parliamentary committee visits FRA

On 21 June, members of the German Bundestag’s Committee on EU Affairs visited FRA to discuss the current situation in the area of asylum and migration in the EU.
15/06/2018

Freedom of religion, antisemitism and Islamophobia discussed at Council

The FRA Director joined other high-level panellists in discussing freedom of religion, antisemitism and Islamophobia during a joint meeting of the Council’s Working Parties on Human Rights (COHOM) and on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP).

Latest projects View all

Status: 
Ongoing

Severe labour exploitation – workers’ perspectives (SELEX II)

The project looks at the experiences and views of foreign workers in selected EU countries who have experienced criminal forms of labour exploitation. It fills an important gap by extending the evidence beyond the views of professionals who deal with labour exploitation; this was covered in an earlier project.
Status: 
Findings available

The right to interpretation and translation and the right to information in criminal proceedings in the EU

What happens when a person suspected or accused of a crime faces criminal proceedings in a language they do not understand? How are suspects or persons accused of a criminal offence informed about their rights in criminal proceedings? This project looks into issues surrounding the right to interpretation and translation and the right to information in criminal proceedings in the EU.

Latest publications View all

Out of sight: migrant women exploited in domestic work
June
2018

Out of sight: migrant women exploited in domestic work

Paper
The stories of the domestic workers FRA interviewed for this paper reveal appalling working conditions and fundamental rights abuses in private homes across the EU. These stories indicate that, seven years on from FRA’s first report on domestic workers in 2011, little has changed in terms of the risks and experiences of severe labour exploitation domestic workers in the EU face.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of rights protection. The European Pillar of Social Rights marked an important move towards a more ‘social Europe’. But, as experiences with the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights underscore, agreement on a text is merely a first step. Even in its eighth year as the EU's binding bill of rights, the Charter's potential was not fully exploited, highlighting the need to more actively promote its use.
Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions
June
2018

Fundamental Rights Report 2018 - FRA opinions

Annual report
The year 2017 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2018 reviews major developments in the EU between January and December 2017, and outlines FRA’s opinions thereon.