EU: Documents regarding EU Commission Proposal for a Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings; documents and analysis regarding defendants' rights


EU: European Commission proposal: Proposal for a Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings (pdf), Commission: Press release (pdf), Commission: Memo (pdf). See also: Plan to give suspects translation rights: Commission proposal would provide the right to interpretation during questioning and at trial (European Voice, link) and Defendants' rights caught up in EU institutional quarrel (euobserver, link): An EU diplomat commented: "The council regrets that the commission chose to table its own proposal, which unnecessarily duplicates our initiative and increases the procedural time needed for a result."

Council of the European Union (27 governments): Council discussions: EU doc no: 14086/09 (pdf) Council proposal: EU doc no: 16801/09 (pdf) and Council Explanatory Note: EU doc no: 16801-add1-09 (pdf). Plus UK opt-in (pdf)

Note comparing the Council and Commission proposals on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings by Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex.

European Parliament: Draft report in response to the Council proposal: Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the rights to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings (Sarah Ludford MEP, pdf). See also: Opinion of the parliament's Legal Service on the Council proposal (pdf) and Covering Letter (pdf).

It should be noted that the Council is only proposing a binding Directive for the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings but only a non-binding "Resolution" for broader procedural rights of suspects and accused people in criminal proceeding. Roadmap: 1. Draft Resolution of the Council on a roadmap for strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings 2. Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on the right to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings 3. Proposal for a Resolution of the Council and of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council fostering the implementation by Member States of the right to interpretation and to translation in criminal proceedings (pdf)

Background: Statewatch analysis: Rights for Criminal Suspects and EU law (pdf) by Professor Steve Peers: "Back in 2004, the Commission proposed a Framework Decision on rights for criminal suspects.... But a group of Member States, led by the UK (along with Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Slovakia) opposed a binding EU measure on this issue, suggesting instead a draft Resolution of Member States."

 

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