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
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.
During judicial proceedings, such as being at court, children should always be told what is going on. The information should be presented in a child-friendly and understandable way.
The freedom to conduct a business, one of the lesser-known rights of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, can help boost growth and jobs across the EU.
5
August
2015
This report seeks to demonstrate that the fulfilment of fundamental rights can help to improve the situation and achieve the strategic goals set out in the Europe 2020 growth strategy, which aims to establish a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.
New strategic guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice by the European Council placed increasing mutual trust, strengthening the protection of victims and reinforcing the rights of accused persons and suspects high on the EU policy agenda. Many EU Member States adopted new laws or reformed existing laws and policies in this area, while efforts continued at UN, Council of Europe and EU level to strengthen the rule of law, judicial independence and the efficiency of justice systems, as cornerstones of a democratic society.
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.
Millions of people in the EU fall victim to crime every year. On European Day for Victims of Crime on 22 February, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights calls on Member States to ensure the rights of victims take centre stage. Only then will they truly have access to the justice that they deserve and are entitled to.
A high-level expert meeting on victims’ rights focused on the rights of victims of terrorist attacks, compensation for victims and strengthening rights of victims of gender-based violence.
On 7 September, FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty gave a keynote lecture at the annual conference of the European Law Institute. He stressed the good partnership between FRA and the Institute, as well as their shared commitment to human rights and the rule of law.
The Agency held a series of meetings in Lisbon from 20 to 23 June where it met with various national stakeholders to discuss future joint initiatives in raising awareness about fundamental rights and use of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Charter at the national level.
The Agency opened a workshop in Budapest on access to case materials by outlining the EU standards and presenting FRA findings regarding the implementation of the EU Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings.
The Agency gave a presentation on hate crime and victims’ rights to a group of high ranking police officers and police trainers from EU Member States on 8 June in Slovenia.
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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.
On 25 May, the Agency will receive a delegation from Argentina mainly composed by representatives of the Buenos Aires Argentina Prosecutor's Office and CivesSolutions.
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The annual UN Crime Commission in Vienna takes place from 14 to 18 May.
On 22 February, the Agency will take part in a seminar in Warsaw on applying the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights for legal professionals.
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The Agency will chair various panels at the Procedural Safeguards - practical training for the daily practice of legal practitioners event in Riga from 15 to 16 February.
The Heads of the EU’s Justice and Home Affairs Agencies and high-level EU representatives will meet at the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) to discuss joint actions to support the implementation of the EU’s priorities in the area of freedom, security and justice on 28 November in Lisbon.
On 26 September the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) is hosting an annual expert meeting in Brussels on the implementation of two cross-border criminal justice Framework Decisions.
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On 14 and 15 July, the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation on Lido (Venice, Italy) will focus its annual diplomatic conference on the right to remedy in relation to business and human rights, the theme of FRA’s April 2017 Opinion.