The European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA) is a leading group of independent criminal defence lawyers in the Council of Europe

Click here for the joint NGO briefing of 15 April 2013 submitted to the EP (Rapporteur and shadows) and to the Council ahead of the trilogue on Wednesday, 17 April, by  Amnesty International, European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA), Fair Trials International, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, JUSTICE and Open Society Justice Initiative.

The situation is very serious because there is a concrete danger that the negotiations in the trilogue of EC, EP and Council emerge as a bad compromise weakening the fundamental rights of EU citizens in criminal proceedings.

After the discussions and the very critical General Approach of the Council in June 2012 the Proposal’s text was seriously eroded, setting its reach back to a level that lead the ECBA to consider that it would be preferable to have no Directive at all than having the text resulting from the discussions in the Council. The last hope to attain a satisfactory text is the European Parliament. Meeting its role as the voice of the European citizens, the EP adopted the LIBE report drafted by Oana Antonescu. This report was strongly endorsed by the ECBA since it strived to establish a high standard of protection of the citizens’ rights. We still back and support strongly the Parliamentarians in the current trilogue who are fighting for the fundamental rights of citizens in the EU who are legally guaranteed presumed to be innocent. The most crucial points are: no questionning without access to a lawyer; no exception in terms of absolute confidentiality of defence communication as a suspect’s right (to distinguish from legal privileges of lawyers); no exclusion of minor offences (whatever „minor“ means); „double“ defence in EAW cases in executing and issuing state; remedies. 

 

Dual representation

Click here for a presentation on this issue as presented by Vânia Costa Ramos, ECBA Advisory Board Member on 16 May 2013 at the ERA conference 'Making Legal Remedies More Efficient'.