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
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.
25
April
2018
The right to access justice and all other relevant procedural rights are not just rights in themselves; they also protect against violations of every other right. Respect for children’s rights in the area of justice is therefore essential. International treaties, the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, European Union (EU) secondary law, and national legislation provide a number of relevant rights.
3
January
2018
Inside this book you will read about the justice system and the problems in justice for children and how to fix the problems.
7
July
2017
Various proposals on EU-level information systems in the areas of borders and security mention interoperability, aiming to provide fast and easy access to information about third-country nationals.
30
May
2017
Diverse efforts at both EU and national levels sought to bolster fundamental rights protection in 2016, while some measures threatened to undermine such protection.
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.
The handbook on European non-discrimination law examines law stemming from the complementary systems of the EU non-discrimination directives and the European Convention on Human Rights, drawing on them interchangeably to the extent that they overlap, while highlighting differences where these exist.
FRA’s guidance on Applying the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in law and policymaking at national level is now also available in Swedish.
On 6 November, FRA contributed to a High Level Experts’ Meeting, organised by the European Commission on ‘What future for victims’ rights?’
Everyone wants a fair trial when it comes to judicial proceedings. But in practice shortcomings sometimes fail to deliver on the rights of victims and defendants. European Day of Justice is a time to reflect on challenges to ensure Europe offers fair justice for all.
FRA took part in a regional policy meeting of about 70 experts from EU Member States and international organisations on rights of victims of violent crime suffered in immigration and pre-trial detention.
Poor information and inadequate access to legal assistance often prevent defendants in criminal proceedings from full access to justice, as FRA latest report reveals. It points to where Member States should improve information flows and legal representation to uphold defendants’ rights.
On 6 September in Brussels, FRA presented its work in the area of the European arrest warrant, mutual trust and criminal detention to the Council of the EU’s working party on criminal cooperation (COPEN).
Many people across the EU risk being left behind, as growing intolerance and attacks on people’s fundamental rights continue to erode the considerable progress achieved to date, finds FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2019.
The Eurostat working group on crime and criminal justice statistics met in Luxembourg from 27 to 28 May to discuss progress as well as the need to address emerging issues.
On 7 May in Brussels, FRA presented its work in the area of the European arrest warrant and mutual trust.
Member States must do more to protect victims of violent crime, finds the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Its latest reports question current safeguards defending the rights of those seeking justice. FRA calls for positive action from police, support services, public prosecutors and courts.
On 18 February in Brussels, the agency presented the results of its second project on severe forms of labour exploitation to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee.
About 1 in 7 people every year are victims of crime across the EU. On 22 February, European Day for Victims of Crime, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights calls on Member States to offer better protection to ensure safeguarding victims’ rights is not just a paper exercise.
FRA’s Director will focus on child rights in emergency situations and what can we learn from COVID-19 in his address to the 13th European Forum on the rights of the child on 30 September.
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FRA will chair a session on business and human rights during this year’s European Law Institute’s conference.
On 27 July, FRA will take part online in the first meeting of the European Economic and Social Committee’s study group on the Victims’ Rights Strategy.
On 22 July, FRA is going to publish ‘Your rights matter: Security concerns and experiences’ paper which looks at people’s security concerns and their worries about experiencing certain crimes.
On 9 July, FRA’s Director will participate in a virtual meeting of the Heads of EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies.
On 6 July, the FRA Director will take part in the informal meeting of EU Justice Ministers.
FRA will exchange views with the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee on establishing an EU Mechanism on democracy, the Rule of Law and fundamental rights.
On 29 June, FRA will take part in the European preparatory meeting for the 2021 World Congress on Justice with Children.
FRA will take part in a workshop to raise awareness on discriminatory and unlawful profiling.
On 4 June, FRA will discuss the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the justice system and on detainees with EU Justice Ministers.
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In order to inform its strategy on the effective implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to be adopted later this year, the European Commission launched four targeted consultations with key actors in the Charter’s enforcement chain:
On 16 March, FRA will be a panellist at an event on internal and external rule of law challenges for the European Union.
The EU Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, will visit FRA on 21 February, for the first time.
FRA will speak at a judicial independence workshop in Florence on 14 February.
On 5 February, civil law students from Utrecht’s Molengraaff Dispuut association will visit FRA.
On 5 February, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will meet EU Commissioners to better understand their priorities and explore how FRA can support their work.
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The rule of law will feature at this year’s European Police Congress where the FRA Director will speak.
On 23 January in Zagreb, the FRA Director will participate in the informal Council meeting of EU Justice Ministers.
FRA will chair a panel discussion on access to remedies in practice that will look at what are the critical barriers and next steps to protecting migrants workers.