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

Joint letter on Pre-trial detention to Vice-President Reding of the European Commission

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.

This letter has been signed by Amnesty International; Association Européenne pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme; APADOR Association for the Prevention of Torture; Czech Helsinki Committee; Defence for Children International; European Criminal Bar Association; Federation Internationale de L’ACAT; Fair Trials International; Harm Reduction International; Human Rights Monitoring Institute; Lithuania Hungarian Helsinki Committee; International Centre for Prison Studies; Irish Penal Reform Trust; JUSTICE; Law Society of England and Wales; League of Human Rights; Czech Republic; Liga voor Mensenrechten; Observatoire International de Justice Juvenile; Open Society Justice Initiative; Quaker Council on European Affairs; Prisoners Abroad.
9 September 2013