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Adopted on 20 October 2010. The suspect and defendant must be able to understand what is happening and make him/herself understood. The Directive ensures that suspects have the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings allowing them to fully exercise their right of defence.
The Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of European Union with a view to implementing the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters. The Directive lays down rules concerning the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings and proceedings for the execution of a European arrest warrant. Official summaries of the legislation can be found here and here.
National implementing measures - laws and regulations passed at Member State level to implement the Directive - can be found on the Eur-Lex website. According to the European Commission's October 2014 report on monitoring the application of EU law (covering the year 2013): "16 Member States failed to transpose and/or notify within the set deadline their implementing rules under... the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings."
Background and details on legislative negotiations can be found in the official documents section.
This section provides official documents detailing the history of negotiations between the EU institutions on the Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. The Directive began life as a Commission proposal for a Framework Decision in July 2009, which was drafted after negotiations on one legal instrument incorporating a number of procedural rights, proposed in 2004, fell apart. Negotiations between the Council and the Parliament (with some input from the Council of Europe) went on until November 2009, when it became apparent that the text would have to be 'Lisbonised' due to the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty in 1 December 2009. 13 Member States subsequently proposed a draft Directive; just months later the Commission made its own proposal. Negotiations continued on the basis of the Commission's text, and after one secret trilogue between the Council, Parliament and Commission, the final act was adopted in October 2010.
The documents below are provided in chronological order, with the most recent first. The adopted Directive can be found here.
This section presents the reports produced by JUSTICIA European Rights Network on topics related to the right interpretation and translation.