New rights for victims of crime in Europe - New rights for victims of crime

The Council of Ministers' Framework Decision on the standing of victims in criminal proceedings is binding on EU Member States. It highlights issues of concern, sets out principles that must be taken into consideration and then lists a series of rights to which victims of crime are entitled in the course of criminal proceedings. Most of the provisions in the Framework Decision came into force on 22 March 2019.

Principles

The Framework Decision stipulates that minimum standards must be drawn up for the protection of victims of crime, in particular to secure access to justice and rights to compensation for damages, including legal costs. A series of principles underpinning these entitlements state that:

Provisions - minimum standards of treatment

All victims of crime should:

In addition: co-operation between Member States is to be encouraged; specialist services and victims' organisations should be promoted; training for personnel who come into contact with victims should be encouraged; and, steps should be taken to prevent secondary victimisation and to avoid placing victims under unnecessary pressure [therefore each Member State must consider its facilities within courts, police stations, public services and victims' organisations].

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