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16 Nov 2022 by lbigmr

EU Workshop “Rights in police custody: from good practices to change”

The focus of the workshop was on how civil society organizations from the criminal justice sector can drive global reforms for fairer treatment of suspected persons.

On Tue., 18 October 2022, our project partner Fair Trials Europe organised an EU workshop in Brussels. The workshop “Rights in police custody: from good practices to change” focused on the question how civil society organisations working in criminal justice can push for a global set of reforms that participate in the overall fairer treatment of suspected persons. The event was part of the project “From Law to Practice: Strengthening Procedural Rights in Police Custody”. This is being implemented under the direction of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights in cooperation with partner organisations from Spain, Romania, Ireland and Belgium.

In order to implement meaningful reforms, the perspectives of those affected (suspects and accused persons) need to be better understood. The workshop provided the opportunity to learn from the experience of CSOs representatives working in the criminal justice field as well as in other disciplines. Additionally, one could profit from academics, researching the needs of the persons most impacted by policing and criminal justice:

  • persons with specific needs such as difficulties in communication and cognition (people with mental health issues, people with intellectual disabilities)
  • persons experiencing poverty
  • persons with addictions
  • persons from racialized communities or migrants

During the discussions among CSO representatives it was addressed how change can be reached.

With the implementation of the EU workshop, the consultation cycle of the project has come to an end. Over the course of 2022, a series of national roundtables and regional consultations with various stakeholders (lawyers, academics, members of the police, prosecutors etc.) served to discuss good practice examples, their implementation challenges and a potential way forwards.

The project consortium is currently evaluating the findings of the consultations to incorporate its results in four thematic factsheets on the areas of legal aid, access to a lawyer, right to information and audio-visual recordings. Furthermore, a report on lessons learned will be published in early 2023.

a. EU workshop “Rights in police custody: from good practices to change” ©FairTrials