Protecting victims’ rights in the EU; the theory and practice of diversity of treatment during the criminal trial

December 2012 – June 2014

European Commission

Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistokles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation
Institute for Advanced Legal Studies of the University of London

The project’s starting point lies with the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime (COM (2011) 275 final of 18.5.2011). The protection of victims pre [mediation], during, and post [compensation] criminal trial is at the forefront of the agenda of the Commission and the Cypriot Presidency. In that respect, this project aims to assist in the effective implementation of the Directive, by facilitating the exchange of knowledge between member states both on the implementation of the current Framework Decision and on the main rights of victims in the proposed Directive. 

The specific objective of the project is to study in a comparative way the specific legal and institutional framework in force in the member states in relation to the matters addressed in the Directive in order to:
a) establish an inventory of legislative measures, institutions and practices that will broaden the knowledge base for the implementation of the Directive
b) establish an inventory of measures for providing support to victims, identifying vulnerable victims and improving the protection of victims during criminal proceedings
c) attempt to identify ex-ante the responsiveness of the directive provisions to the specific problems in the member states
d) attempt to identify potential shortcomings in the implementation and effectiveness of the Directive.
The expected outcome is a comparative report and concrete policy recommendations for the effective implementation of the Directive, which will highlight the responsiveness of the Directive provisions to the challenges in each member state, elements which might jeopardize its implementation as well as an ex-ante assessment of its effectiveness.
The project implementation consists essentially in providing consistent and documented answers to the above questions by utilising the comparative method. The project will be implemented by a team of 27 national correspondents covering all EU Member States and an academic team consisting of five distinguished experts in the field of criminal law, which will elaborate the comparative report and the final proposals.

To visit the web-page of this project please click here.