European Public Prosecutor‘s Office

As the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) became operational as of June 2021, the ECBA brought into force a working group to reflect on defence issues and procedural rights in EPPO proceedings.

Creating a new criminal procedure for a new institution is a complex matter, in which defence rights should be fully acknowledged and protected. 

The working group focuses on the lack of specific regulations of defence and procedural rights, the impact on the rights of the suspect at the national level and problems relating to access to the case file.

The working group’s aim is to identify the relevant defence issues and to advise the members of the ECBA on how to handle them. The WG  also interacts with the EPPO in order to convey the views of practitioners and help to build a practice that is in conformity with the highest standards of a fair trial and the rights of individuals.

Since June 2022 the WG organises an online meeting every last Friday of the month to discuss practical issues and experiences regarding EPPO cases from different countries.

If you are interested in joining the working group, the practical sessions or simply want to discuss, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Today (27.02.2023) the Court of Justice of the European Union is holding a Grand Chamber hearing in the case of GK and Others.


The full details of the case have not been made public, and there is no procedural framework for the ECBA (or any other organizations representing the legal profession, such as the CCBE – Council of Bars and Law Societies in Europe) to intervene as a third party.


This is regrettable, as it means that a case which is crucial for the definition of the protection of individual rights and the rights of legal persons in the scope of EPPO proceedings is being dealt with in secrecy and without the institutional participation of the organisations representing the Bar.


These procedural limitations put into sharp profile the existing structural inequality of arms in EPPO proceedings: the EPPO as an institution is allowed to participate actively in the above-mentioned proceedings and make its case before the CJEU. Defence lawyers, however, may only participate in their individual capacity for the persons targeted by the measures adopted in the case at hand.


On these grounds, the ECBA publishes this open letter in a constructive and cooperative spirit, with the aim of assisting the Court.


ERA, in cooperation of the ECBA, prepared an e-learning course on working with the EPPO at decentralised level, tailor-made for defence practitioners.

Cick here to access it.

The course comprises 5 modules on the main topics related to the EPPO’s competence, conflicts of competence, obligations to inform, and referrals of cases as set out under the EPPO Regulation. Each module includes lessons which consist of written analysis and commentary, as well as links to the relevant legislation, cases and websites. 

ERA also offers a short guideline in English, French, and German introducing the most important issues in EPPO proceedings from a defence perspective.

 Further information on the EPPO, including training materials, background documentations, speaker contributions and e-presentations, can be found in the library section of ERA’s project subsite:

You may also be interested in reading the ECBA Notes on the EPPO Internal Procedure Rules here.