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

  • 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 2015-2019 combines in one place information on detention conditions in all 28 EU Member States.
  • 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.
  • Video
    What are the next steps in the digitalisation of justice and of access to justice? This impulse video statement by FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty was recorded for the online conference “Access to Justice in the Digital Age”. The conference takes place on 16 July and is organised by the German Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection during the German Council Presidency.
Products
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.
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.
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.
22
February
2017
Around 2.5 million children participate in judicial proceedings across the European Union (EU)
every year, affected by parental divorce or as victims of, or witnesses to, crime. Although their
effective participation in such proceedings is vital for improving the operation of justice, the
treatment of children in justice systems remains a concern.
22
February
2017
Around 2.5 million children participate in judicial proceedings across the European Union (EU) every year, affected by parental divorce or as victims of, or witnesses to, crime. Although their effective participation in such proceedings is vital for improving the operation of justice, the treatment of children in justice systems remains a concern. FRA investigated to what extent children’s rights to be heard, to be informed, to be protected, and to non-discrimination are fulfilled in practice.
10
November
2016
EU Member States have largely implemented, and started applying, three instruments on transferring prison
sentences, probation measures and alternative sanctions, as well as pre-trial supervision measures, to other
Member States. This report provides an overview of their first experiences with these measures, highlighting both
best practices and shortcomings.
10
November
2016
Protecting the human rights of individuals subject to criminal proceedings is an essential element of the rule of
law. Persons who are suspected or accused of crimes in countries other than their own are particularly vulnerable,
making appropriate procedural safeguards especially crucial. This report reviews Member States’ legal
frameworks, policies and practices regarding the important rights provided in these directives, including with
respect to individuals whose needs may require additional attention, such as persons with disabilities and children.
The Agency’s Director, Michael O’Flaherty, took part in a meeting of the European Parliament Employment Committee on 8 November.
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.
The agency took part in the annual coordination and planning meeting of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) Network of Courts and Tribunals.
Throughout 2019, the agency will continue to work steadfastly for everyone to promote and protect human rights, in a year that marks 10 years of the European Union’s very own bill of rights, the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
On 30 October, the Agency presented the major findings of its work on severe labour exploitation at a meeting of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) Permanent Committee on mobility, migration and inclusion in Brussels.
On 19 October in Brussels, the Agency gave a presentation to the European Platform Tackling Undeclared Work.
To guide national law and policy makers on how to best use the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights has just published a handbook.
From 13 to 14 September, the Agency took part in the annual meeting of the Working Group on Asylum and Immigration established within the European Association of Administrative Judges.
Workplace inspections are often lacking or ineffective, enabling unscrupulous employers to exploit their workers, finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest report. Tightening up inspections to combat abuse and empower workers to report abuse are some ways FRA suggests to help end severe labour exploitation.
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.
The FRA Director, Michael O’Flaherty, will speak during the plenary meeting of the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs of Parliaments of the EU (COSAC) in Helsinki on 2 December.
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On 18 and 19 November in Skopje, North Macedonia, the FRA Deputy Director Constantinos Manolopoulos will participate in the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs.
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FRA will take part in a stakeholder dialogue on encryption in criminal investigations.
FRA will speak at a working group on civic space during a conference in Brussels on 5 November on fundamental rights and the rule of law.
On 6 September in Brussels, FRA will present its work on criminal detention and the European Arrest Warrant during a meeting of the Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters (COPEN).
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FRA and the French ‘Defender of Rights’ are jointly organising an international seminar on the challenges of relations between the police and the public as well as current practices.
The Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU has invited the Director to participate in discussions between ministers of justice at the informal Justice and Home Affairs meeting in Helsinki on 19 July.
As workers in the EU are still severely exploited, FRA is jointly organising a high-level conference 'From wrongs to rights - Ending severe labour exploitation' in Brussels on 25 June.
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From 27 to 28 May in Luxembourg, the agency will take part in the annual meeting of the Eurostat working group on crime and criminal justice statistics.
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The European Judicial Training Network (EJTN) and the agency will hold a joint seminar on applicability and effect of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights in national proceedings.
The FRA Director will address the Standing Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) on 28 February in Vienna.
On 22 February, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will speak at the CEPS Ideas Lab in Brussels. He will join a panel discussion dedicated to the protection of the rule of law in the EU.
As a member of the European Judicial Training Network’s (EJTN) sub working group on human rights and fundamental freedoms, the agency will join the group’s next meeting on 22 February.