Procedural Rights

The most up-to-date and relevant documents, press releases, academic comment, legislation, and case-law is collated and organised here in this fully-searchable central storage space. Here you can get an overall sense of the information available in the area of procedural rights or quickly find a specific document.

Stockholm Program—Swedish Procedural Rights Roadmap

Access to a Lawyer (Measure C1)


Official Documents

The Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and the right to communicate upon arrest was adopted on 22 October 2013. An initial text was proposed by the European Commission in June 2011. In June 2012, the Council adopted its "general approach" (i.e. negotiating position), and in July 2012 the Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs adopted a negotiating position for the Parliament. Negotiations between the two institutions commenced: "Nine trilogues were held, three under Cyprus Presidency and six under Irish Presidency. Further, various technical and other informal meetings took place" (document 10190/13, 31 May 2013, below) before adoption in October 2013.

The documents below are provided in chronological order, with the most recent first.

A Recommendation from the Commission, produced at its own initiative aiming to "reinforce the right to legal aid for suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings and for requested persons in European arrest warrant proceedings pursuant to Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA in order to complement and render effective the right of access to a lawyer as set out in Directive 2013/48/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council." The Recommendation has no legal force. Negotiations on a directive on a right to legal aid - which will have legal force when agreed - are ongoing.

  • Author: European Commission
  • Document Number: C(2013) 8179 final
  • Document Date: Wed, November 27, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 8 October 2013: DRAFT MINUTES: 3260th meeting of the Council of the European Union (JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS) held in Luxembourg on 7 and 8 October 2013

"The Council approved the amendment set out in the European Parliament's position at first reading and adopted the proposed act amended accordingly".

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 14607/13
  • Document Date: Wed, November 13, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 8 October 2013: Press release, 3260th Council meeting, Justice and Home Affairs, Luxembourg, 7 and 8 October 2013

Notes the adoption by the Council, without discussion, of the directive.

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 14149/13
  • Document Date: Tue, October 08, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 7 October 2013: Voting result - Adoption of the legislative act

The Council votes unanimously for the adoption of the directive, with the exceptions of Belgium, Denmark, Ireland and UK (abstentions).

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 14515/13
  • Document Date: Mon, October 07, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 7 October 2013: Press release: Council adopts the directive on the right of access to the lawyer

"The Council adopted today without discussion a directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings in a historic decision 10 years after the first attempts were made to agree on a legislative measure including notably the right to legal advice. Member states will have 3 years after the entry into force of the directive to adopt the necessary national provisions."

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 14440/13
  • Document Date: Mon, October 07, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 26 June 2013: Summary of the meeting of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, held in Brussels on 19 and 20 June 2013

"Vice President Reding thanked the rapporteur and LIBE for reaching agreement with the Council on the Directive on access to a lawyer, a central piece of legislation regarding procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings."

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 11613/13
  • Document Date: Wed, June 26, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 19 July 2013: DRAFT MINUTES: 3244th meeting of the Council of the European Union (JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS) held in Luxembourg on 6 and 7 June 2013

"The Council took note of the information provided by the Presidency concerning the state of play".

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 10624/13
  • Document Date: Fri, July 19, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 7 June 2013: PRESS RELEASE, 3244th Council meeting, Justice and Home Affairs, Luxembourg, 6 and 7 June 2013

"The Council was informed of the state of play".

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 10461/13
  • Document Date: Fri, June 07, 2013
  • File: Download File
Parliament, 6 June 2013: Draft report on the proposal

Proposed amendments to the draft directive.

  • Author: European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
  • Document Number: PE474.063v03-00
  • Document Date: Thu, June 06, 2013
  • File: Download File
Council, 4 June 2013: Press release: Coreper confirms agreement on the directive on the right of access to a lawyer

"The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) today endorsed the provisional agreement that was reached with the European Parliament on 28 May on the directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings."

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 10495/13
  • Document Date: Tue, June 04, 2013
  • File: Download File
Previous Entries »

JUSTICIA European Rights Network