In 2009, under the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, agreement was reached on a roadmap for strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings. The roadmap outlined six areas where action should be taken at EU level to strengthen the rights of suspects and accused persons. In the following years, agreements could be reached on six Directives outlining the rights to interpretation and translation, to information, to access to a lawyer, to legal aid, the presumption of innocence, and procedural safeguards for children suspected or accused in criminal proceedings.
Transposition phases for the last one of the new Directives expired on 11 June 2019. Hence, since 12 June 2019, legal practitioners in the EU, especially judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers, prison and probation staff as well as legal interpreters and translators need to apply the new rights as set out by the Directives in the context of their daily work. It is self-evident that for the good application of the Directives, training is needed among the mentioned legal professions.
Finally, 10 years after the roadmap for procedural rights was developed, many legal practitioners feel the need for further action at EU level to strengthen the rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings.
In consequence, this project will use the momentum to offer practical training on procedural rights in the EU in the context of the application of other instruments of judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the EU and to discuss the need for further procedural safeguards. To complete the picture, the interpretation of these rights by the CJEU will form part of the training.