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
21
March
2011
The Handbook on European non-discrimination law is jointly produced by the European Court of Human Rights and the FRA. It is a comprehensive guide to non-discrimination law and relevant key concepts.
18
June
2013
This year’s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2012 – puts the spotlight on key legal and policy developments in the field of fundamental rights in 2012.
18
June
2013
Against a backdrop of rising unemployment and increased deprivation, this FRA Annual report closely examines the situation of those, such as children, who are vulnerable to budget cuts, impacting important fields such as education, healthcare and social services. It looks at the discrimination that Roma continue to face and the mainstreaming of elements of extremist ideology in political and public discourse. It considers the impact the crises have had on the basic principle of the rule of law, as well as stepped up EU Member State efforts to ensure trust in justice systems.

Survey on fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in EU (2012)

This major online survey, carried out in 2012, collected information from more than 93,000 LGBT people in the EU on their experiences of discrimination, violence, verbal abuse or hate speech on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The data explorer also allows the filtering of responses by age, sexual orientation and country of residence.
10
December
2012
In relation to the European Commission proposal for a Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the European Union, the European Parliament requested advice from FRA on the extent to which confiscation of proceeds of crime could go without breaching fundamental rights.
6
December
2012
The European Union (EU) and its Member States have undertaken many legislative and non-legislative initiatives in recent years to improve the situation of victims of crime, while work to promote the rights of victims is still ongoing. Some of the key concerns in the field include the role of the victim in criminal proceedings and facilitating access to criminal justice systems: in other words, ensuring that victims are recognised as persons with rights. These rights should be respected and safeguarded by the criminal justice system.
6
December
2012
The principle of non-discrimination is firmly established in European Union (EU) legislation and includes provisions relating to access to justice. This report examines the process of seeking redress in cases of discrimination. It provides a detailed analysis of what the EU Member State bodies that deal with cases of discrimination do to support possible victims of discrimination and to offer them redress. It examines the factors obstructing effective remedies, such as the complexity of the complaints system, which discourage people from bringing cases and reinforce victims’ feelings of helplessness
December
2012
The principle of non-discrimination is firmly established in European Union (EU) legislation and includes provisions relating to access to justice. This factsheet provides an overview of the policy context and key issues from the FRA report on 'Access to justice in cases of discrimination in the EU – Steps to further equality'
27
November
2012
Despite EU Member States’ efforts to combat discrimination and intolerance, including hate crime, there are indications that the situation is not improving. Continued and renewed violations of the fundamental rights of people living within the EU have instead been witnessed over the past few years, through verbal abuse, physical attacks or even murders motivated by prejudice.
27
November
2012
Discrimination and intolerance persist in the European Union (EU) despite the best efforts of Member States to root them out, FRA research shows. Verbal abuse, physical attacks and murders motivated by prejudice target EU society in all its diversity, from visible minorities to those with disabilities. This FRA report is designed to help the EU and its Member States to tackle these fundamental rights violations both by making them more visible and bringing perpetrators to account.
27
November
2012
This EU-MIDIS Data in focus report 6 presents data on respondents’ experiences of victimisation across five crime types: theft of or from a vehicle; burglary or attempted burglary; theft of personal property not involving force or threat (personal theft); assault or threat; and serious harassment. The European Union Minorities and Discrimination Survey (EU-MIDIS) is the first EU-wide survey to ask 23,500 individuals with an ethnic and minority background about their experiences of discrimination and criminal victimisation in everyday life.
20
June
2012
This publication was originally published in 2012 as part of the FRA Annual Report: Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2011.
20
June
2012
This year‘s summary of the FRA Annual report – Highlights 2011 – chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights, drawing on objective, reliable and comparable socio-legal data.
23
March
2011
This report provides an EU-wide comparative analysis of the effectiveness of access to justice, across the EU Member States. Launched on 23 March at the conference "Protecting victims in the EU: the road ahead" hosted in Budapest by the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the EU with the support of the FRA, the report emphasises obstacles making it difficult for victims to enforce their rights.
8
December
2011
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights held its annual Fundamental Rights Conference 'Dignity and rights of irregular migrants' in Warsaw on 21-22 November 2011. This paper summarises the discussions that took place during the conference and presents follow-up activities to be undertaken by FRA.
1
September
2011
The Fundamental Rights Conference, the flagship annual event of the FRA, focused in 2010 on ensuring justice and protection for all children, including those who are most vulnerable. This report summarises the speeches, discussion and common conclusions and issues identified during the conference.
15
June
2011
2010 marked the first year the European Union (EU) operated on the basis of a legally binding bill of rights - the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. This year's annual report of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights puts the spotlight on the achievements and challenges of the EU and its Member States as they strive to inject robust life into their fundamental rights commitments.
20
June
2012
To secure and safeguard the fundamental rights of everyone in the European Union (EU), the EU and its 27 Member States pressed forward with a number of initiatives in 2011. This report chronicles the positive developments made in 2011 as well as the challenges facing the EU and its Member States in the field of fundamental rights.
21
November
2011
International and European human rights law impose an obligation on EU Member States to guarantee human rights to all individuals within their jurisdiction. This includes irregular migrants.
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.