From law to practice: Strengthening procedural rights in police custody (ProRPC)

About the Project

Research Topic & Roadmap

The EU legal instruments in the area of defendants’ rights in criminal proceedings have become an important source of minimum standards protecting against arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and other human rights violations across the EU. However, research has shown that even when appropriate legislative measures are taken to implement them, this does not mean that the requirements of the directives are adequately implemented in practice.

The “From Law to Practice” project, which will run for two years from December 2020 to March 2023. It aims to address the gaps in relation to the practical implementation of the EU Procedural Directives. It takes up and develops the recommendations from the previous project “Inside Police Custody 2: An empirical study of suspects’ rights at the investigative stage of the criminal process in nine EU countries” (2018). Together with the relevant actors, effective strategies for implementing the recommendations and good practice examples will be developed. The programme line “Human Dignity and Public Security” of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) is cooperating on this project with APADOR-CH (Romania), the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (Ireland), Fair Trials Europe (Belgium) and Rights International Spain (Spain).

Research Focus

The project contributes to an effective and human rights-compliant application of the EU procedural directives and thus to strengthening mutual trust in the legal systems of the member states. With its results, it will support decision-makers in developing new initiatives to strengthen the practical implementation of the directives.

Thematically, the project focuses on the following main areas:

  • Access to a lawyer
  • Access to legal aid
  • Right to information (e.g. information sheet for detainees)
  • Audiovisual recording of interrogations
  • Procedural guarantees in criminal proceedings for juveniles

Through this focus, the project aims to close gaps in the practical implementation of the EU procedural directives.

Research Method

In concrete terms, this will be achieved through the following work steps:

  • Elaboration of good practice examples

Good practices need to be elaborated in terms of the required level of technical specificity and even more carefully differentiated in terms of target groups (such as young people).

  • Involving key stakeholders in reform efforts

Even where good practices have been identified, their implementation requires the involvement of relevant stakeholders. This engagement is a key element of this project.

  • Involvement of civil society organisations

Civil society organisations across the EU have extensively researched the implementation of procedural rights and are therefore well placed to support national decision-makers and practitioners in decision-making.

Project Data


Giuliana Monina

Head of Programme Line (Parental Leave)

+43 1 4277-27439