On 1st and 2nd February 2022, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) organised a virtual national roundtable for experts on "Strengthening Procedural Rights in Austrian Practice". The event is part of the EU funded project From Law to Practice: Strengthening Procedural Rights in Police Custody, in which the LBI-GMR, together with partner organisations from Spain, Romania, Ireland and Belgium, is researching Best Practice examples in the area of the rights of suspects at the earliest stage of criminal proceedings and developing possible implementation pathways.
Thematically, the event focused on the following areas: Right to Information, Right to Legal Aid, Access to a lawyer, Audiovisual Recordings and Procedural Rights of Children.
This national roundtable aimed to exchange practitioners, decision-makers, and representatives of civil society. In various working groups, challenges and barriers in implementing procedural rights, as set by EU directives as a minimum standard, were debated, and concrete steps for change were discussed. In particular, best practices - both domestic and from EU partner countries - were identified, and existing resources in this country were discussed to overcome obstacles in strengthening the rights of suspects.
Overall, the active participation of the experts in the discussions laid a successful foundation for presenting best practices in Austria to the EU partner organisations in the further course of the project and for taking their best practices as a model and analysing a possible transfer of the practice to the other EU Member States.