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
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.
2
June
2015
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.
5
May
2015
Making justice systems more child‑friendly improves
the protection of children, enhances their meaningful
participation and at the same time improves
the operation of justice. The findings in this summary
can provide Member States with useful tools
to identify barriers, gaps or weaknesses in their
judicial proceedings, especially in the process of
transposing and implementing relevant EU directives. Also available in BG - CS - DA - DE - EL - ES - ET - FI - FR - HR - HU - IT - LV - LT - MT - PL - PT - RO - SK - SK - SV
5
May
2015
Each year thousands of children take part in criminal and civil judicial proceedings, affected by parental divorce
or as victims or witnesses to crime. Such proceedings can be stressful for anyone. The European Union Agency
for Fundamental Rights (FRA) investigated whether children’s rights are respected in these proceedings.
Children need to be heard and be involved in all issues that concern them. This includes the justice system.
To mark the European Day for Victims of Crime on 22 February, FRA has created this infographic based on the the report: Victims of crime in the EU: the extent and nature of support for victims, published in January, 2015.
6
February
2015
This summary outlines the research findings of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on support services for victims of crime across the EU from a fundamental rights perspective. It gives an overview of how current victim support service provision across the 28 EU Member States compares in practice with the objectives and goals for victim support set out by the Victims’ Directive. The focus is on the directive’s Articles 8 and 9 on support services, although other closely related provisions are also considered.
26
January
2015
FRA was requested by the European Commission (EC) in January 2014 to provide practical guidance on the processing of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for law enforcement purposes, in light of efforts by Member States to establish national PNR systems. As a result, in informal consultation with EC services and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and building on opinions FRA, the EDPS and the Article 29 Working Party on PNR, FRA presented twelve fundamental rights considerations to EU Member States experts at technical level.
12
January
2015
The rights of victims of crime to access justice and to be protected against repeat victimisation may remain illusory in practice if the victim fails to receive professional advice and support. This research by the European Union Agency
for Fundamental Rights (FRA) examines support service provision for such victims across the 28 EU Member States, in line with the 2012 EU Victims’ Directive. It focuses not on abstract fundamental rights standards but on the final
practical results.
29
September
2014
This document provides clear explanations for children of the key terms used in the child-friendly justice project. It explains what rights are and how these rights should be protected during legal proceedings.
9
July
2014
The EU and its Member States took a variety of important steps in 2013 to protect and promote fundamental rights by
assuming
new international commitments, revamping legislation and pursuing innovative policies on the ground. Yet, fundamental
rights violations seized the spotlight with distressing frequency: would‑be migrants drowning off the EU’s coast,
unprecedented mass surveillance, racist and extremist‑motivated murders, child poverty and Roma deprivation.
30
June
2014
This handbook aims to strengthen the protection of children, specifically addressing the particular needs of child victims of trafficking.
6
June
2014
This year’s FRA annual report looks at fundamental rights-related developments in asylum, immigration and integration; border control and visa policy; information society, respect for private life and data protection; the rights of the child and the protection of children; equality and non-discrimination; racism, xenophobia and related intolerance; access to justice and judicial cooperation; rights of crime victims; EU Member States and international obligations.
This data provides an overview of some of the key aspects related to support services for victims of crime.
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.
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.
Well-resourced, well-aimed victim support is vital to ensure that victims of crime have real access to justice for the suffering they have been caused and ensure their rights are respected. In the first comprehensive assessment of victim support services throughout the European Union, published today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) notes that despite improvements, challenges remain in many Member States.
As EU ministers meet to discuss the future of the EU’s policies on freedom, security and justice, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) outlines practical suggestions in its Annual report about how to ensure people in the EU can have their rights better protected. It also maps out the fundamental rights challenges and achievements that took place over the course of 2013.
Budget cuts in the wake of the current economic crisis should not affect a person’s legal entitlement and right to access justice. This is the theme of the 2012 Fundamental Rights Conference, organised by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). Entitled ‘Justice in austerity - challenges and opportunities for access to justice’, the event is being held at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Hate crime is a daily reality throughout the European Union (EU), two new reports by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) confirm. Violence and offences motivated by racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, or by a person’s disability, sexual orientation or gender identity are all examples of hate crime, which harm not only those targeted but also strike at the heart of EU commitments to democracy and the fundamental rights of equality and non-discrimination.
Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2010, the flagship Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), charts the progress made in 2010 by the European Union (EU) and its Member States towards securing the rights guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights through developments in legislation, policies and practices. The FRA Annual Report, presented at the European Parliament today, points to promising practices and obstacles to rights protection across a range of policy areas. Some of the major challenges in 2010 related to asylum, the Roma and data protection.
Today, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is launching its report Access to justice in Europe: an overview of challenges and opportunities. The report will be launched in Budapest at the conference ‘Protecting victims in the EU: the road ahead', hosted by the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, with the support of the FRA. The report provides a comparative analysis of access to justice across the EU Member States and finds that there are many obstacles that make it difficult for victims to enforce their rights. This report relates mainly to civil and administrative procedures available to victims of discrimination. Although its focus is the area of non-discrimination law, its findings are generally applicable to civil and administrative procedures as a whole.
Protection mechanisms on paper do not yet fully function in practiceThe 2010 Annual Report of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) identifies challenges in the areas of data protection, extreme exploitation in the workplace, rights of the child, racism and discrimination, and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) issues.
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.