European Commission proposal giving citizens the right to information in criminal proceedings to become law
“You have the right to… – a Letter of Rights”. Soon this will be the reality for anyone who is arrested or detained anywhere in the European Union.
EU Justice Ministers on the 27th April 2012 adopted a new law that the European Commission had proposed to ensure defendants’ right to information during criminal proceedings. Under the ‘Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings’, suspects of a criminal offence will be informed of their rights in a language they understand. The measure will ensure that EU countries will give anyone arrested, or subject to a European Arrest Warrant, a Letter of Rights listing their basic rights during criminal proceedings. Once it will have entered into force (two years after it is published in the EU’s Official Journal, which is expected to take place within weeks), the new law will apply to an estimated 8 million criminal proceedings every year in all EU 27 Member States. Currently this right only exists in about one third of Member States.