About the 'Strengthening Procedural Rights in Police Custody' Project

This forum facilitates exchange between participants of the project ’ Strengthening Procedural Rights in Police Custody’

The EU legal instruments in the area of procedural rights in criminal proceedings are an important source of minimum standards for protection against arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and other human rights violations across the EU. However, research has demonstrated that even if appropriate legislative measures are taken, this does not mean that the requirements of the EU Directives on procedural rights are adequately implemented in practice. Effective implementation also depends on several other factors. Numerous research projects have already identified gaps and challenges in implementation as well as best practice examples and recommendations, but these must now be properly implemented in order to effectively bring about improvements in the protection of the rights of suspects and accused persons.

With this project, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM) in cooperation with partners from Spain, Romania, Ireland and Belgium, aims to build on previous research in order to strengthen procedural rights in criminal proceedings, mainly with regards to legal aid, access to a lawyer, right to information, audio-visual recording and procedural rights of children.

The overall objective is to fill the gaps in the practical implementation of the EU procedural directives by adopting a systemic, multi-stakeholder approach that will affect change from within the criminal justice system. To achieve this, the project will cover three main work packages. First, the project consortium will engage in the elaboration and specification of good practice examples to foster a better understanding of the concrete challenges for the implementation of good practices as well as of their direct and indirect benefits for suspects, national authorities and other relevant actors. Secondly, the project will aim to engage key stakeholders in reform efforts to ensure that practical solutions will indeed address the key challenges that practitioners face in their daily lives. Finally, there will be a focus on the involvement of relevant civil society organizations across the EU and the exploration of their role as change agents, as they can often draw on extensive experience in the implementation of procedural rights and are thus ideally placed to facilitate reforms and support policymakers and practitioners.