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The Directive on the Presumption of Innocence and the Right to Be Present at Trial
Genesis and description of the new EU-Measure
I. Introduction On 9 March 2016, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive (EU) 2016/343 on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings.1 The Directive is the fourth legislative measure that has been brought to pass since the adoption, in 2009, of the Council’s Roadmap on procedural rights for suspects and accused persons. This article describes the genesis of the Directive and provides a description of its main contents. II. Genesis of the Directive 1. Background: Roadmap and Stockholm programme In November 2009, on... Read more
Criminal Liability of Heads of Business
A Necessary Pillar in the Enforcement of the Protection of the Financial Interests of the EU
The 1995 Convention on the Protection of the Financial Interests of the European Communities (hereafter “PIF Convention”) already acknowledged “that businesses play an important role in the areas financed by the European Communities and that those with decision-making powers in business should not escape criminal responsibility in appropriate circumstances.”1 The PIF Convention, therefore, stipulated in Art. 3 a provision on the criminal liability of heads of business.2 Later, the Second Protocol to the PIF Convention extended criminal liability to legal persons.3 From then on, in the EU’s criminal policy, individual criminal liability of senior corporate officials for severe failures of... Read more
The Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings
I. Introduction On 22 October 2013, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2013/48/EU on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European Arrest Warrant (EAW) proceedings. The Directive also addresses the right for suspects and accused persons in criminal proceedings, and for persons subject to EAW proceedings, to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and the right to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty.1 The part of the Directive regarding the right of access to a lawyer is the core measure of the roadmap... Read more
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.
The Directive on Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings: Genesis and Description of its Main Elements
I. Introduction On 20 October 2010, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings.1 The Directive is the first legislative instrument in the field of criminal law that has been adopted under the rules of the Lisbon Treaty, and it is the first measure of the Council’s “Roadmap for strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings.”2 The adoption of the Directive provides interesting insight into the concrete application of the Lisbon Treaty, and it marks a significant step in the process of strengthening the procedural... Read more