Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 338

A “letter of rights” to ensure fair trials across the EU Citizens’ rights

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 dicembre 2011

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A “letter of rights” to ensure fair trials across the EU Citizens’ rights
Anyone suspected or accused of having committed a crime in the EU must be promptly informed of his or her procedural rights in easy-to-understand language, says a new EU law adopted by Parliament on Tuesday. Any suspect who is then arrested or detained must also be given a written “letter of rights”, adds the text, to which MEPs added the right to remain silent, the right to urgent medical care and the right to contact relatives. The new directive, already agreed with Member State governments, provides EU-wide minimum standards to ensure the right to information in criminal proceedings.Today, citizens arrested and charged with a criminal offence cannot be certain that they will be properly informed of their rights everywhere in the EU. In some Member States, they receive only oral information about their procedural rights, whilst in others the information is given in writing, but is technical, complex and provided only on request.”The new directive is an important cornerstone in ensuring that suspects and accused persons across the EU have a fair trial, thanks to the development of equal standards. The rights of our citizens are being strengthened. Individuals may exercise their rights to defence only if they know what these rights are. Parliament has been able to extend the list of rights on which it is important to give information, for example, medical care, contacts with family members, etc”, said Civil Liberties Committee rapporteur, Birgit Sippel (S&D, DE).

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