UE: Acordo sobre garantia da Presunção de inocência nos EM
Fair trials: civil liberties MEPs back new EU rules on presumption of innocence
LIBE Press release - Fundamental rights − 10-11-2015 - 15:43
The civil liberties committee on Tuesday approved a deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators on new EU rules to ensure that the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in criminal proceedings is respected throughout the EU. The aim is to enhance the right to a fair trial and to strengthen member states' trust in each other's criminal justice systems.
The new law will apply "at all stages from the moment when a person is suspected or accused of having committed a criminal offence, or an alleged criminal offence, until the final determination of the question whether the person has committed the offence concerned and that decision has become definitive". Around nine million people are the subject of criminal justice proceedings every year in the EU.
"Parliament fought successfully to get rid of the clause that gave member states a real possibility of reversing the burden of proof. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution. This is a key principle of criminal law and it was our red line. We also secured a paragraph preventing the use of evidence obtained in breach of Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), i.e. as a result of torture, as well as a clause enshrining the absolute right to silence. Furthermore, we have ensured that the accused cannot be made to look guilty, before a verdict is reached, for example by being handcuffed or made to wear prison uniform," said the rapporteur, Nathalie Griesbeck (ALDE, FR).
Banning public authority statements that presume guilt