EP hearing 2007On 18-19 October 2007, Droit au Droit organised, in partnership with the The Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies of Pisa (Italy), the Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) and the Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania), and with the support of the ALDE Group at the European parliament, a public hearing entitled “Towards the harmonisation of European rules and practices on the right of defence".

The purpose of the Hearing was to discuss and analyse EU Member States enforced domestic legislation and praxis in relation to the safeguard of the rights of defence, especially in pre-trial criminal proceedings and in cases in which cross-borders elements are involved, with the goal to find grounds for European common minimum standards governing procedural law which could lead to ensure a uniform safeguard of fundamental human rights all over the EU.

Since the adoption of the Amsterdam Treaty and the subsequent European Council of Tampere in 1999, the EU has made great strides in promoting, through the application of the principle of mutual recognition, closer co-operation between police, prosecutors and judges in the fight against international crime (i.e. the adoption of the proposal for a European Arrest Warrant in June 2002). Yet the achievement of a common area of freedom, security and justice implies to ensure, in the same way, the full judicial protection of fundamental individual rights during criminal proceedings.

In spite of several initiatives launched by the European Commission (in particular the proposal for a framework decision covering the rights of suspects and defendants in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union, presented on 28 April 2004 and whose adoption still depends on negotiations in the Council), this dimension is still far from being achieved.

The Hearing brought together Members of the European Parliament, government representatives, judges and law practitioners, as well as experts in criminal law.


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