Defence rights during the pretrial criminal proces

The ECBA has been involved in several projects and commented on proposals that impact on the rights of the defence in pre-trial criminal proceedings.

The latest project is as a partner in a EU funded project entitled “Defence rights during the pre-trial criminal proceedings” which is headed by the Austrian Criminal Bar Association, in cooperation with the ECBA, and the Universities of Graz, Ljubljana,  Vienna and Zagreb.

The findings of the report have been presented at the ECBA’s conference in Ljubljana in October 2010 and you will find a summary below.

The ECBA has also been involved in the discussion on the EU’s proposal on mutual recognition of non-custodial pre-trial supervision measures.

Click here for the report on the experts meeting on pre-trail detention 9 February 2009.
Click here for a summary of comments from other jurisdictions.

The ECBA was an Associate Partner in the SUPRALAT project which has now been concluded.

Please click here to read the end report by Anna Pivaty.  

The SUPRALAT-project specifically aimed to:

  •  Develop a practice-oriented training programme for lawyers, that focuses on proceedings in the police detention stage, and pilot it in four EU Member States. The selected Member States are Belgium, Hungary, Ireland and the Netherlands.
  •  Advocate for practice-oriented training on facilitating suspects’ rights in pre-trial proceedings to become part of professional training curricula for criminal lawyers in EU Member States.
  •  Contribute to the exchange of best practices on facilitating the rights envisaged in the Directives among lawyers across the EU.
  •  As a result of SUPRALAT-project, to which the ECBA is partner, we will organise a workshop in which we will test/simulate a part of the innovative training program, intended to equip lawyers with the necessary skills to effectuate the rights of suspects at the early stages of the criminal proceedings in practice.

The project contributed to the implementation of newly-adopted EU Directives on suspects’ procedural rights – and especially the Directive on the right of access to a lawyer – in EU Member States.

To learn more about the project, please visit the website:

Workshop at the ECBA Spring Conference 2017 

SUPRALAT project team delivered a workshop at the 2017 ECBA Spring Conference. The workshop focused on the lawyer's role during suspect interrogation - in European law, national law, and in practice (which becomes of relevance after the transposition date of the Directive on the Right of Access to a Lawyer on 27 November 2016).

As the European Commission, Council and Parliament have recognised, ‘excessively long periods of pre-trial detention are detrimental to the individual, can prejudice cooperation between the Member States, and do not represent the values for which the European Union stands’.

This letter is to follow-up on the European Union’s work to tackle this problem and to urge the Commission to continue its work in this area beyond the current legislative programme, including developing a timeframe for tabling a legislative proposal setting common minimum standards for the use of pre-trial detention in the EU. Please click here for the letter.