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

Presumption of Innocence


Official documents

The Commission presented a legislative proposal on this issue on 27 November 2013. The Council reached a "general approach" (text for negotiation) in December 2014, and the Parliament's civil liberties committee adopted its own preferred position in April 2015. Secret "trilogue" negotiations between the Council, the Parliament and the Commission then began, in the hope of reaching agreement on a text that will be approved upon first reading by the Parliament as a whole (plenary meeting). A debate is expected on 19 January 2016, and a vote the day after.

The Commission's proposal has the stated aim: "to strengthen certain aspects of the right of suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union to be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a final judgment and to strengthen the right to be present at one's trial."

Council, 4 November 2015: Presumption of innocence: Council confirms the agreement found with EP

"On 4 November 2015, the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved a compromise text agreed with the European Parliament on a directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings."

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 776/15
  • Document Date: Wed, November 04, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 29 October 2015: Confirmation of the final compromise text with a view to agreement

"On 27 October 2015, during the fifth trilogue, the Presidency and representatives of the European Parliament reached agreement "ad referendum" on the final compromise text of the draft Directive. This text, which subsequently has undergone minor linguistic refinements, is set out in the Annex. "The Commission entered a reserve in relation to the deletion of Article 5(2) on "presumptions"." The document contains the text of the compromise agreement and a statement by the Commission on issues concerning minor offences (Article 6 of the text).

  • Author: Presidency
  • Document Number: 13471/15
  • Document Date: Thu, October 29, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 14 September 2015: 3396th meeting of the Council of the European Union (JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS) held in Luxembourg on 15 and 16 June 2015

Draft minutes: "The Presidency informed the Council" about numerous ongoing negotiations, including on the proposal for a Directive on the presumption of innocence.

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 9934/15 ADD 1 REV 1
  • Document Date: Mon, September 14, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 29 July 2015: Examination of revised text

"The third trilogue took place on 1 July 2015, and on 13 July 2015 a technical meeting took place... substantial progress was made... The main elements of the current text are set out in the Annex, with some explanations and questions in footnotes."

  • Author: Presidency
  • Document Number: 11112/15
  • Document Date: Wed, July 29, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 26 June 2015: 2545th meeting of the PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE held in Brussels on 9, 10 and 12 June 2015

Notification that the forthcoming Council meeting will include an update on the proposal for a Directive on the presumption of innocence.

  • Author: Council of the European Union
  • Document Number: 9752/15
  • Document Date: Fri, June 26, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 6 May 2015: Preparation of second trilogue

The document used as a basis for discussion between Member States within the Council, in preparation for the second "trilogue" meeting with the European Parliament and the Commission. Contains a five-column table setting out, article-by-article, the Commission's proposal, the Council's position and the Parliament's position, along with "observations" and possible compromise articles.

  • Author: Presidency
  • Document Number: 8547/15
  • Document Date: Wed, May 06, 2015
  • File: Download File
Parliament, 20 April 2015: Summary of the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

Provides an overview of the main points of the LIBE committee's position.

  • Author: Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
  • Document Number: N/A
  • Document Date: Mon, April 20, 2015
  • File: Download File
Parliament, 20 April 2015: Report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the proposal for a directive on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings

"Your rapporteur... feels that the Commission has adopted an over-minimalist approach to the issue and queries the lack of ambition in this [the Commission's] initial proposal, which is liable to harmonise national provisions 'downwards'. Furthermore, some of the provisions in the initial proposal are debatable, if not to say unacceptable, such recital 17 [sic], which refers to the possibility of the public authorities using compulsion. Your rapporteur therefore wishes to make a number of changes to the initial proposal, all of which seek to achieve the broad objective of greater participation for suspects and accused persons in Europe."

  • Author: Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
  • Document Number: A8-0133/2015
  • Document Date: Mon, April 20, 2015
  • File: Download File
Council, 8 April 2015: Partial summary of the meeting of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, held in Brussels on 31 March and 1 April 2015

Notes the adoption of the LIBE report. Although the report is dated 20 April 2015 (see above), it was adopted at the 31 March/1 April 2015 session.

  • Author: General Secretariat of the Council
  • Document Number: 7769/15
  • Document Date: Wed, April 08, 2015
  • File: Download File

A brief note on the result of the Committee's vote.

  • Author: General Secretariat of the Council
  • Document Number: 7677/15
  • Document Date: Tue, March 31, 2015
  • File: Download File
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