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CJEU Case C-467/18 / Opinion

Rayonna prokuratura Lom v EP

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Decision date:

Key facts of the case:

Preliminary ruling — Directives 2012/13/EU, 2013/48/EU and (EU) 2016/343 — Scope — Policing — Pre-trial criminal investigation by the public prosecution service — Special criminal procedure for the adoption of coercive medical measures — Committal to a psychiatric hospital under a non-criminal law — Effective judicial review of observance of the suspect or accused person’s right to information and right of access to a lawyer — Presumption of innocence — Vulnerable persons).

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, I propose that the Court of Justice reply as follows to the Rayonen sad Lukovit (District Court, Lukovit, Bulgaria):

  1. Directive 2012/13/ЕU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 on the right to information in criminal proceedings must be interpreted as meaning that it applies to all stages of such proceedings, from the moment when a person is made aware by the authorities that he is suspected of committing a criminal offence, including where that person suffers from a mental disorder.
  2. Directive 2013/48/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty is applicable, at the times laid down in its articles, to suspects and accused persons who have a mental disorder.
  3. The rights protected by Directives 2012/13 and 2013/48 must be observed, where the provisions of those directives so require, during criminal investigations by the police, during the pre-trial investigation by the public prosecution service and during a special procedure concerning the application of coercive medical measures for offences committed by persons who lack criminal responsibility as a result of their mental state, such as the procedure governed by Article 427 et seq. of the Nakazatelno protsesualen kodeks (Code of Criminal Procedure).
  4. Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings is not applicable to criminal proceedings which came to a definitive conclusion before 1 April 2018.
  5. A procedure to order, on medical grounds, the committal to a psychiatric hospital of persons who suffer from a mental illness, such as the procedure governed by Article 155 et seq. of the Zakon za zdraveto (Health Law), does not fall within the scope of Directives 2012/13, 2013/48 and 2016/343.