Press conference by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC, on fair trial rights of citizens in criminal proceedings throughout the EU
Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, gave a press conference on a package of proposals to strengthen fair trial rights of citizens in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union.
This package of proposals aimed to further strengthen procedural safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings and to guarantee fair trial rights for all citizens, wherever they were in the European Union.The proposals presented by the Vice-President aimed to guarantee the respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial; make sure children have special safeguards when facing criminal proceedings; guarantee access of suspects and accused to provisional legal aid at the early stages of proceedings and especially for people subject to a European Arrest Warrant.
The new proposals were another milestone down the road of procedural rights and complemented a set of three other EU laws agreed since 2010: on the right to translation and interpretation, the right to information, and the right to access a lawyer. These proposals promoted the principle of equality of arms to provide all parties with the protection of a fair trial.
Once adopted, the proposals would help to increase mutual trust in Member States' judicial systems and therefore ensure a smooth functioning of the European area of justice.