This article critically examines the EU law provisions on the right of access to the materials of the case in pre-trial criminal proceedings (Article 7 of Directive 2012/13/EU). It argues that they are insufficient to ensure adequate protection of this right in Member States. Furthermore, the approach chosen by EU legislator did not properly implement the European principle of the equality of arms in pre-trial proceedings. It is submitted that a clearer standard is needed to ensure an appropriate balance between the interests of adequate protection of individual rights and of protecting safety and security. It is suggested that although some room for national interpretation is desirable, the right of early access to the case materials should be endorsed by all Member States with derogations applied sparingly and under specific circumstances. Here further guidelines from the cjeu play significant role in order to ensure equality of arms in pre-trial proceedings.
The Act on Amendments to the Criminal Procedure Act (NN 70/2017) introduced, into the Croatian legal system, the Directive 2013/48/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and European arrest warrant proceedings as well as the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty. This paper contains the analysis of the nomotechnical solutions after the implementation of the Directive 2013/48/EU in the Republic of Croatia. In addition, particular attention has been given to the new substantive term of the suspect and its practical implications in different stages of the Croatian criminal procedure with special reference to effects and perception of the implementation of the Directive 2013/48/EU in Croatian criminal procedure. The paper criticizes some domestic legal solutions and offer different approach, with respect to the trends that have been noticed after amendment of the Croatian Criminal Procedure Act.
Jacopo Della Torre
The aim of this study is to discuss the topic of plea negotiations in criminal procedures from a European perspective. The first part of the paper weighs up the advantages and disadvantages of the recent massive spread of negotiated justice in Europe and discusses the best way to reduce the risks involved with this phenomenon. The second part sets out to illustrate how the first EU Directives, adopted under Article 82 tfeu, have contributed to fairer legal institutions based on negotiations and agreements. The final part of the paper casts a glance at the future, and considers whether it would be appropriate for European institutions to adopt minimum standards on negotiated criminal justice.