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Publication

Accessible Letters of Rights in Europe: International and Comparative Law Research Report

May 30, 2017 - letter of rights, right to information

Letters of Rights are written documents setting out the core procedural rights that a suspect or accused person has in criminal proceedings. If designed and used properly, Letters of Rights can improve procedural rights protection in criminal cases, particularly during police interrogations and when suspects are placed in custody. During these situations a suspect is placed in a particularly vulnerable position and the suspect’s ability to know and understand his or her rights is, therefore, critical.

In the EU, the notification of rights is regulated by the Directive on the Right to Information, which mandates the Member States to provide a written Letter of Rights to all arrested and detained people, including information about how detention is regulated by the law and how this can be challenged, as well as about their rights, for instance to access a lawyer and to remain silent.

Outside the EU, international and domestic standards fail to provide a comprehensive and enforceable framework of rules on the notification of rights, with some limited exceptions.

Read the findings of our international research on Letters of Rights here.

 

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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