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The Directive on the Right to Information
Genesis and Short Description
On 22 May 2012, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2012/13/EU on the right to information in criminal proceedings. The directive is the second measure ("measure B") in application of the Roadmap on procedural rights, which was adopted by the Council in 2009.
The directive is evidence that Member States are in favour of measures enhancing the procedural rights of suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings, contrary to what is sometimes said. Indeed, the directive provides a good example of legislation where the Council, together with the European Parliament, has taken a very much "pro-rights" approach, by establishing even more extensive and protective rights than those proposed by the European Commission.
This article describes the genesis of the directive and provides a short description of its contents.
Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 2/2013
Dear Readers, Nothing says more than the figures: $2.1 trillion is the total amount of criminal proceeds generated in 2009 according to UN estimates. Not only does money laundering facilitate corruption, organized crime, and terrorism, but it steals from all EU citizens. At present, less than 1% of the proceeds of crime are frozen and confiscated, proving that dirty money remains in the criminals’ pockets. This is why we must concentrate our efforts on dragging out this money if we ever want to get real results. Otherwise, dirty money will produce new organized crime networks, fund terrorism, or go to... Read more
Undoubtedly, the fight against corruption is no easy job, mainly because of the very secretive nature of such an offence that, at times, makes it next to impossible to detect, especially when hardly anyone files a report with the law enforcement authorities. Hence, new methods need to be identified and devised to fight corruption at a national level and in the European Union whilst at the same time safeguarding human rights, especially the right to a fair and public trial as well as the right to privacy. This is indeed an arduous task for all the public authorities involved in... Read more
The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is charged with protecting the EU’s financial interests by investigating fraud, corruption, and other illegal activities. OLAF’s daily work involves the processing of large amounts of sensitive1 personal data. As a service of the European Commission, OLAF is subject to Regulation (EC) 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by Community institutions and bodies (data protection regulation) and is thus under the supervisory powers of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS). OLAF conducts administrative investigations in full independence, both internally – concerning the EU institutions and bodies –... Read more
The Data Protection Gap
From Private Databases to Criminal Files
Debates on the reform of the EU’s data protection legal framework are currently being held in the Council of the EU and the European Parliament.1 One particular issue has, however, not (yet) been included in these debates: the processing of personal data by law enforcement authorities for the purpose of criminal investigations after these data were originally collected by private companies for the purpose of their commercial activities. This topic has, however, been discussed at several other negotiation tables. On the EU level, the Cybersecurity Strategy2 released in February 2013 and the continuing debate on the use of passenger name... Read more
Editorial Guest Editorial eucrim 1/2013
Dear Readers, If the protection of personal data was ever regarded as a some-what strange subject for specialists only, this is no longer the case for three main reasons. The growing impact of information technology in all fields of life has had the effect that not only citizens but also all kinds of professionals are confronted with issues of personal data protection, whether they like it or not. At the same time, these issues are becoming increasingly global, either linked to the growing use of services available on the Internet by individuals, companies, or governments and becoming increasingly personal, as... Read more