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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over the last decade, new fundamental rights laws and policies have been adopted and specialist institutions created. But fundamental rights challenges still remain and rights are under attack, underlining the lack of a fundamental rights culture across institutions and societies, as the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveals in its 2017 Fundamental Rights Report.
EU rules essential to build trust in the EU’s area of justice are seldom invoked, potentially hindering the fair treatment of people involved in criminal proceedings. Two new reports from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) offer detailed guidance for the EU and its Member States to boost the effectivity of the criminal justice system.
On 22 June 2016, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the European Court of Human Rights launch a practical handbook on European law relating to access to justice.
Over one million people sought refuge in the EU in 2015, a fivefold increase from the year before. In its Fundamental Rights Report 2016, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) examines the scale and nature of the challenge and proposes measures to ensure fundamental rights are respected across the EU.
The European Union has always sought to boost innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the region. However, entrepreneurs often face long and complicated administrative procedures, time consuming reporting obligations, and difficulties in accessing credit. The freedom to conduct business, one of the lesser-known rights of the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, is explored in detail with examples of how this right can also help boost growth and jobs, in this latest report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).
Record numbers of migrants died as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe in 2014. Member States should therefore consider offering more legal possibilities for people in need of international protection to enter the EU, as viable alternatives to risky irregular entry. This is one of the conclusions from this year’s Annual report which looks at developments across the EU in many areas over 2014.
Consumers are often unaware that the food they eat or the clothes they buy may have
been produced by people working under conditions of severe labour exploitation. A new
report by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) shows that while the EU has
legislation prohibiting certain forms of severe labour exploitation, workers moving within
or migrating to the EU are at risk of becoming victims.
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.