Justice

Justice, victims’ rights and judicial cooperation

Your access to justice is a fundamental right. It is central to making your other rights a reality.

It protects rights of the individual. It puts right civil wrongs. It holds power to account. We shine a light on obstacles to access to justice. And we give evidence-based advice on overcoming them.

Highlights

  • Report / Paper / Summary
    21
    June
    2022
    Every child has a right to be protected even when they are accused or suspected of committing a crime. The basic principles of justice apply to adults and children alike. But children face specific obstacles during criminal proceedings, such as a lack of understandable information about their rights, limited legal support and poor treatment. The report looks at the practical implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/800 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings in nine Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Poland and Portugal.
  • Handbook / Guide / Manual
    22
    June
    2016
    Access to justice is an important element of the rule of law. It enables individuals to protect themselves against infringements of their rights, to remedy civil wrongs, to hold executive power accountable and to defend themselves in criminal proceedings. This handbook summarises the key European legal principles in the area of access to justice, focusing on civil and criminal law.
  • Page
    The Criminal Detention Database 2015-2022 combines in one place information on detention conditions in all 27 EU Member States as well as the United Kingdom.
  • Report / Paper / Summary
    25
    June
    2019
    This report is the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s fourth on the topic of severe labour exploitation. Based on interviews with 237 exploited workers, it paints a bleak picture of severe exploitation and abuse. The workers include both people who came to the EU, and EU nationals who moved to another EU country. They were active in diverse sectors, and their legal status also varied.
Products
25
June
2019
This report is the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s fourth on the topic of severe labour exploitation. Based on interviews with 237 exploited workers, it paints a bleak picture of severe exploitation and abuse. The workers include both people who came to the EU, and EU nationals who moved to another EU country. They were active in diverse sectors, and their legal status also varied.
Fundamental Rights Report 2019: In some Member States access to justice faces challenges. Judicial independence continues to cause
concerns. Victims’ procedural rights need more effective implementation. Gaps in preventing
violence against women and domestic violence remain.
13
June
2019
New language versions: FI, MT, PT, CS, LV, LT, SK, SL, SV, ET
03 November 2020
Children deprived of parental care found in another EU Member State other than their own aims to strengthen the response of all relevant actors for child protection. The protection of those girls and boys is paramount and an obligation for EU Member States, derived from the international and European legal framework. The guide includes a focus on child victims of trafficking and children at risk, implementing an action set forth in the 2017 Communication stepping up EU action against trafficking in human beings, and takes into account identified patterns, including with respect to the gender specificity of the crime.
11
June
2019
Algorithms used in machine learning systems and artificial intelligence (AI) can only be as good as the data used for their development. High quality data are essential for high quality algorithms. Yet, the call for high quality data in discussions around AI often remains without any further specifications and guidance as to what this actually means.
6
June
2019
How much progress can we expect in a decade? Various rights-related instruments had been in place for 10 years in 2018, prompting both sobering and encouraging reflection on this question.
6
June
2019
The year 2018 brought both progress and setbacks in terms of fundamental rights protection. FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019 reviews major developments in the field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered, and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these
opinions.
25
April
2019
Victims of violent crime have various rights, including to protection and to access justice. But how are these rights playing out in practice? Are victims of violent crime properly seen, informed, empowered and heard? Do they tend to feel that justice has been done? Our four-part report series takes a closer look at these questions, based on interviews with victims, people working for victim support organisations, police officers, attorneys, prosecutors and judges.
25
April
2019
Victims of violent crime have various rights, including to protection and to access justice. But how are these rights playing out in practice? Are victims of violent crime properly seen, informed, empowered and heard? Do they tend to feel that justice has been done? Our four-part report series takes a closer look at these questions, based on interviews with victims, people working for victim support organisations, police officers, attorneys, prosecutors and judges.
25
April
2019
Victims of violent crime have various rights, including to protection and to access justice. But how are these rights playing out in practice? Are victims of violent crime properly seen, informed, empowered and heard? Do they tend to feel that justice has been done? Our four-part report series takes a closer look at these questions, based on interviews with victims, people working for victim support organisations, police officers, attorneys, prosecutors and judges.
20
February
2019
This Opinion aims to inform the European Parliament’s position on the legislative proposal for a Regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online, presented by the European Commission on 12 September 2018.
5
December
2018
Last versions available are EL and NL
11 March 2021
This guide explains what profiling is, the legal frameworks that regulate it, and why conducting profiling lawfully is both necessary to comply with fundamental rights and crucial for effective policing and border management. The guide also provides practical guidance on how to avoid unlawful profiling in police and border management operations.
26
October
2018
The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights’ 2018 Fundamental Rights Forum
brought together more than 700 human rights champions at a time of
widening social divisions and increasingly polarised politics across
Europe.
5
September
2018
Severe labour exploitation is widespread across the European Union. While workplace inspections can help counter this phenomenon, they need to be strengthened to do so effectively. Based on interviews and focus group discussions with almost 240 exploited workers active in diverse economic sectors, this report provides important evidence on how unscrupulous employers manipulate and undermine inspections, and on what can be done to counteract such efforts.
6
September
2018
Workers are being severely exploited for their labour across the EU, and
inspections are not effective at stopping this reality. Based on interviews with
almost 240 workers – including non-EU citizens who came to the EU and
EU nationals who moved to another EU country to work – a new FRA report
outlines the problem and identifies ways to bolster inspections.
6
June
2018
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.
6
June
2018
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 field, identifying both achievements and remaining areas of concern.
17
May
2018
Civil society organisations in the European Union play a crucial role in promoting fundamental
rights, but it has become harder for them do so – due to both legal and practical restrictions.
This summary outlines the main
findings and FRA’s opinions on the different
types and patterns of challenges faced by civil society
organisations across the EU,
9
May
2018
With terrorism, cyber-attacks and sophisticated cross-border criminal networks posing growing threats, the work of intelligence services has become more urgent, complex and international. Such work can strongly interfere with fundamental rights, especially privacy and data protection. While continuous technological advances potentially exacerbate the threat of such interference, effective oversight and remedies can curb the potential for abuse.
25
April
2018
This report outlines Member States’ approaches to age requirements and limits
regarding child participation in judicial proceedings; procedural safeguards for, and rights of, children involved in criminal
proceedings; as well as issues related to depriving children of their liberty.
Faced with COVID-19, people are increasingly spending their time in the digital world. But as in the real world, there are dangers lurking out there. Many fall victim to fraudsters and online hate. To mark European Day of Justice on 25 October, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) urges the EU and Member States to step up the protection of victims online.
The FRA Director participated in the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs on 22 October.
Holding big business responsible for its human rights violations is difficult and many victims never get justice, finds a new report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). This is due to the complexity of multinational corporations spanning different countries with networks of subsidiaries and supply chains. The report identifies practical, procedural and financial barriers the EU and its Member States should eliminate to ensure victims of such violations have access to effective remedies.
The Steering Committee for the Rights of the Child held a virtual plenary session on September 17.
Most Europeans are worried about their data and bank details being misused by criminals and fraudsters. Two in five Europeans have been harassed face-to-face and every fifth is very worried of experiencing a terrorist attack. These findings come from the Fundamental Rights Survey, carried out by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in the European Union, North Macedonia and the United Kingdom in 2019. The results feed into the European Commission’s Security Union Strategy.
On 9 July, FRA Director exchanged views with Heads of the Justice and Home Affairs Agencies about the impact of COVID-19 on fundamental rights and on FRA’s activities.
On 26 June, FRA joined the first exchange of views of the Council of Europe’s Child Rights Steering Committee.
The OECD held its annual Global Forum on Responsible Business Conduct on 17 June.
FRA participated in a CEPOL webinar to introduce the challenges and principles linked to the use of profiling by law enforcement officers.
On 6 April, FRA joined the informal videoconference of EU Ministers of Justice to discuss crisis coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 31 March, FRA took part in a meeting of the Research Advisory Group on mapping child protection data systems across EU Member States.
FRA outlined the main findings from its facial recognition technology paper during a European Parliament hearing in Brussels on 20 February.
Crimes violate people’s fundamental rights. Therefore, victims have a right to criminal justice. European Day for Victims of Crime, on 22 February, offers the chance to examine the protection Member States offer to safeguard victims’ rights.
The European Commission held a meeting on the rule of law on 6 February in Brussels.
Europol held a meeting to on 24 January in the Hague boost internal security innovation.
A book launch looking at FRA’s impact took place at the European Commission on 22 January in Brussels.
On 11 December in Brussels, FRA presented its work in the area of the European arrest warrant, mutual trust and criminal detention.
This year FRA looks forward to a new decade for fundamental human rights across Europe, as the new European Parliament and Commission hit the ground running with a raft of new strategies promoting and protecting rights.
Overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions and limited time outside cells in prisons violate detainees’ rights and jeopardise rehabilitation, finds a new Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report. The findings and supporting database will help judges and lawyers assess shortcomings in prison conditions when deciding on cross-border cases.
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FRA’s Director will participate in the high-level online conference ‘For a people-centred e-justice’. The Portuguese Presidency of the Council of Europe hosts the event on 26 and 27 April.
FRA will meet partners online from its FRANET research network to implement the second part of its project on procedural safeguards for children in criminal proceedings. The focus will be on interviewing children to capture their experiences and perspectives in criminal proceedings. FRANET partners from seven EU Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Poland and Portugal – will attend.
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FRA will give a presentation at the online conference ‘Three Decades of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics in Europe: Methods, Trends and the Impact on Policy Making’.
FRA will join an ad hoc meeting on 17 March on the digitalisation of justice. It will be the first of a series of thematic ad hoc meetings under the umbrella of the Victims’ Rights Platform in 2021 - one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s Victims’ Rights Strategy.
On 17 March, FRA will present selected findings from its surveys during the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) General Assembly and Annual Conference.
On 11 March, FRA will give a virtual lecture about the EU justice system and its legal bodies to the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan. FRA will give an overview on the EU policy system, the Agency’s work and how it protects human rights in the EU.
FRA will give a presentation during a meeting on victims’ participation in criminal proceedings and access to justice. FRA will draw on its recently-published results from the Fundamental Rights Survey, as well as other FRA research.
The FRA Director will exchange views with EU Ministers of Justice during their informal videoconference on 11 March.
FRA will take part in a discussion on the application of the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant. The discussions form part of a FairTrials webinar on 18 February.
Too often victims of crime are denied their rights. They are left voiceless and unsupported. Young people and minorities particularly suffer, as FRA will reveal during a debate on 19 February.
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FRA will hold an online inception meeting to mark the start of its research into procedural safeguards for children suspected and accused of crime. The meeting on will gather partners from FRA’s research network from nine EU Member States – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Italy, Malta, Poland and Portugal – covered by the research.
The European Parliament is convening a hearing on the consequences and lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for people living in residential institutions. It will focus on the social and human rights perspective.
FRA’s Director will join the informal meeting of EU Justice Ministers on 29 January. He will contribute to discussions on the way forward for protecting vulnerable adults in Europe.
FRA will join an online seminar on 19 January organised by the Open Society Justice Initiative. During the webinar, researchers will present findings from a comparative evaluation of police reforms in the UK and US.
FRA will present its plans to update its Criminal Detention database during a meeting of the Council Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters on 26 October.
The European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) will host a session during EU Regions Week to discuss how best to safeguard the rights of mobile EU citizens in post-pandemic times.
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FRA will present its new report on business and human rights during a workshop at conference entitled ‘Global Supply Chains, Global Responsibility’
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On 8-9 October, FRA will present an overview of its activities at the Eurostat Working Group meeting on Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice.
The regular study visit of judges and prosecutors to FRA, organised by the European Judicial Training Network, takes place this time as a virtual meeting.