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
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.
This infographic looks at ways to improve the implementation of various EU criminal justice laws on the right to information, interpretation and translation that apply to Member States to guarantee common EU-wide minimum standards for rights protection.
This infographic looks at improving the implementation of the various EU criminal justice laws that apply to cross-border transfers, pre- and post- trial.
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights launched a practical handbook on European law relating to access to justice at the Fundamental Rights Forum on 22 June 2016.
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.
30
May
2016
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen
fundamental rights in 2015. Some of these efforts produced important progress; others fell short of their aims. Meanwhile,
various global developments brought new – and exacerbated existing – challenges.
30
May
2016
The European Union (EU) and its Member States introduced and pursued
numerous initiatives to safeguard and strengthen fundamental rights in 2015.
FRA’s Fundamental Rights Report 2016 summarises and analyses major
developments in the fundamental rights field, noting both progress made
and persisting obstacles. This publication presents FRA’s opinions on the
main developments in the thematic areas covered and a synopsis of the
evidence supporting these opinions. In so doing, it provides a compact but
informative overview of the main fundamental rights challenges confronting
the EU and its Member States.
28
April
2016
Hate crime is the most severe expression of discrimination, and a core fundamental rights abuse. Various initiatives target such crime, but most hate crime across the EU remains unreported and unprosecuted, leaving victims without redress. To counter this trend, it is essential for Member States to improve access to justice for victims. Drawing on interviews with representatives from criminal courts, public prosecutors’ offices, the police, and NGOs involved in supporting hate crime victims, this report sheds light on the diverse hurdles that impede victims’ access to justice and the proper recording of hate crime.
17
March
2016
Worker exploitation is not an isolated or marginal phenomenon. But despite its pervasiveness
in everyday life, severe labour exploitation and its adverse effects on third-country nationals
and EU citizens - as workers, but also as consumers - have to date not received much
attention from researchers. This report identifies risk factors contributing to such exploitation and
discusses means of improving the situation and highlights the challenges EU institutions and
Member States face in making the right of workers who have moved within or into the EU
to decent working conditions a reality.
18
November
2015
This report, drafted in response to the European Parliament’s call for thorough research on fundamental rights protection in the context of surveillance, maps and analyses the legal frameworks on surveillance in place in EU Member States.
18
November
2015
In April 2014, the European Parliament requested the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) “to undertake in–depth research on the protection of fundamental rights in the context
of surveillance”. This summary presents FRA’s main research findings, which are published in full in the report entitled Surveillance by intelligence services: fundamental rights safeguards and remedies in the EU – Mapping Member States’ legal frameworks.
Each year, an estimated 2.5 million children go through legal procedures. Two-thirds of children do not receive adequate information during proceedings. Their understanding of their rights and procedures is rarely checked. The behaviour of legal professionals affects to what degree children feel safe and comfortable. These videos provide practical guidelines about how to ensure justice is child-friendly.
Children should always be supported by a professional support person when they are involved in judicial proceedings, such as being at court. This could be, for example, a social worker or a legal counsellor.
Children should always be supported by a professional support person when they are involved in judicial proceedings, such as being at court. This could be, for example, a social worker or a legal counsellor.
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.
EU citizens have the right to move freely from country to country but in practice pitfalls exist when it comes to receiving residence permits or social assistance, finds the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ latest report.
On 12 and 13 July FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty, together with the Head of Freedoms and Justice Department, Joanna Goodey, attended the Informal Meeting of Justice and Home Affairs Ministers in Innsbruck.
On 5 July, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty travelled to The Hague for meetings at EU agencies and Dutch ministries.
The Agency took part in an international symposium from 21 to 22 June in Vienna on victim support to present its results from its violence against women survey.
An inter-parliamentary seminar on Stopping hate on the internet: The role of legislators in the age of internet superpower took place in Bratislava on 21 June.
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.
The Academy of European Law (ERA) held a seminar in Trier on on 13 June on access to justice for people with disabilities during which the Agency presented its work.
Many of the 2.5 million domestic workers in the EU risk being exploited, unaware of their rights and unprotected by a lack of inspections monitoring how they are being treated, finds a new European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights paper. It also suggests ways to help combat exploitation.
Nearly 60% of Europeans consider being old a disadvantage when looking for work. Societies often view older people as burdens. Too often we overlook the basic human rights of our older people. This year, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) in its 2018 Fundamental Rights Report explores how a rights-based approach towards respect for older people is starting to happen.
The Agency hosted a workshop on age ranges in judicial practices for children and young adults during the World Congress on Justice for Children in Paris which ran from 28 to 29 May.
On 27 April, the Agency joined the fourth workshop organised by the European Commission for the Member States on the transposition of the EU Directive on Combating Terrorism.
The Agency took part in a European Commission meeting on strategic litigation to defend the rights of children and to end child labour in supply chains.
Building on the widely popular practical handbook on European non-discrimination law, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights have just published an update.
The Agency chaired various panels at the Academy of European Law's (ERA) event on Procedural Safeguards - practical training for the daily practice of legal practitioners in Riga on 15 and 16 February.
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.
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The agency will contribute to discussions on promoting and protecting the rights of suspects and the accused in criminal proceedings during a meeting from 12 to 13 February in Budapest.
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The agency will present its handbook on European law relating to access to justice during a training seminar organised by the European Judicial Training Network.
The agency will give a general introduction on victims’ rights during a conference on implementing restorative justice with child victims.
The European network of Equality Bodies, Equinet, will hold the first meeting of its Freedom of Movement Cluster on 23 November.
On 18 September, the Committee on Social Affairs, Youth and Children, Human Exchanges, Education and Culture will meet in Vienna to exchange views on child protection in the EU and Latin America.
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At the European Law Institute’s Annual Conference on 6-7 September in Riga, FRA will co-chair a panel on business and human rights, focusing on access to remedy.
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On 12 and 13 July 2018, the FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty will participate in the informal Justice and Home Affairs Council in Innsbruck at the invitation of the Austrian presidency.
On 11 July 2018 the Agency will give a presentation at the Expert Seminar on the Rule of Law in Brussels, organised by the Austrian Presidency.
The Agency will present its work in the area of access to justice at the Academy of European Law's (ERA) Summer Course on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the EU in Trier on 20 June.
The European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights is hosting a discussion on 19 June in Brussels on access to remedies for victims of corporate abuse of human rights.
The Agency is hosting a joint event on 19 June with the European Commission on post-Brexit police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
The Agency will present its work on business and human rights – access to remedies, at a multi-stakeholder consultation organised by the European External Action Service on 11 June in Brussels.
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The Agency will present its work on business and human rights – access to remedies at a UN conference in Bangkok from 4 to 6 June.