Procedural Safeguards - Measure E

Measure E: Special Safeguards for Suspected or Accused Persons who are Vulnerable

Directive (EU) 2016/800 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on procedural safeguards for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings.

No implementation report has been made available yet.

This project aims at enhancing the rights of children in criminal proceedings in the EU, by supporting Member States and advocating for the proper application of the EU Directive 2013/48 which guarantees free access to a specialised (youth) lawyer at all stages (EU directive 2016/800 art.4/1v,v and art.23-nr.63 Memorandum and EU Directive 2012/29, child victims, art.25 on procedural safeguards) for children who are suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings and other related standards in the specific field of juvenile justice; by defining the role, the mission, the basic training and all the specifics of the function of a youth lawyer and by empowering youth lawyers to become “agents of change” in the better implementation of the right of access to a lawyer for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings.

The ECBA is an associate partner in this project.

Click here for the report of the 'kick-off' meeting,  which took place on 19 and 20 October 2016 in Brussels.

For more information

The Directive has been adopted and published on 21 May 2016.

It sets out specific minimum rules concerning the rights of suspected or accused children in criminal proceedings to ensure that they are able to understand and follow criminal proceedings, including having access to a lawyer at all stages. It provides that children cannot waive their right to be assisted by a lawyer in key moments of the proceedings, as there is a high risk that they would not understand the consequence of their actions (Article 6).

Other safeguards covered are the right to being promptly informed of their rights, having the holder of parental responsibility (or other appropriate persons) informed, and receiving medical examination if deprived of liberty (Art. 4, 5, and 8).

Children have been defined by the Directive has any persons below the age of 18 (Article 3 (1)). Other categories of vulnerable suspects have not been covered by the Directive.

On this point, see our reply on the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings, 6 May 2014 and the ECBA Statement with recommendations to the Commission on Measure E of the Stockholm programme for the appropriate rights and treatment of vulnerable Suspects of 15 May 2013.