2014–2019: Strengthening Arrest Rights in the European Union

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The European Union has made significant progress over the past three years in the effort to strengthen defence rights across its 28 member states.

Three core directives were adopted over the last four years, but in order to achieve the transformation envisioned by European leaders in 2009, continued work is required.

This fact sheet sets out the views of a coalition of concerned groups that is urging the EU to deliver on this vision over the coming years, and take action to:

  • complete the Stockholm ‘roadmap’ and adopt the inter-connected directives on the right to legal aid, and the rights of vulnerable suspects;
  • ensure member states effectively implement the adopted measures, both in legislation and practice; and
  • take legislative action to address key gaps including a directive that would set minimum standards on the use of pretrial detention.