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Research project

CrossJustice - Knowledge, Advisory and Capacity Building information tools for criminal procedural rights in judicial cooperation

This project was funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020). Pursuant to Art. 22 (1.3) of the G.A. 847346, the content of this project's description represents the views of the authors only and their sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made for the information it contains.

This project is based at the University of Bologna.

The protection of fundamental rights for persons accused or suspected of a crime is one of the main aims of the EU policy in the area of justice. However, the effective protection of such rights throughout the EU is heavily affected by the highly varying legal frameworks which characterize Member States regulation on procedural rights in criminal proceedings. In this context, legal actors often struggle to identify which legislation and therefore which procedural rights are applicable to persons accused or suspected of a crime in specific cases, both due to linguistic barriers and the peculiarities of different national legal systems.

This situation persists also after the introduction of the EU Directives derived from the Stockholm Programme, aiming at creating a certain level of harmonized rules on the matter.

Firstly, such directives often provide only a very minimal level of protection, and tackle only specific phases of the criminal proceeding. Secondly, the application of such directives at the national level is often further reducing the impact of the EU acquis due to incorrect or incomplete implementation or to the persistence of different interpretations given to criminal procedural rights by national courts.

The Project aims to tackle the issues described above identifying critical gaps and solutions in a comparative perspective, in order to improve the efficiency of judicial systems and their cooperation, thanks to information and communication technology. We thus propose to develop CrossJustice, an online platform for advice and support on the effectiveness of procedural rights providing a free service, mainly directed to legal professionals, but accessible to law students, NGOs and all EU citizens.

The CrossJustice platform will provide a unique contribution to address information needs pertaining to procedural rights, by delivering A) a free of charge and updated information and advisory service directed to legal professionals (lawyers, magistrates, and public servants), but also accessible to law students and citizens, and B) capacity building for legal professionals and law students.

The CrossJustice platform provides and innovative architecture with the aim of providing support with regard to:

1. the compliance of national instruments implementing EU directives with the EU acquis.
2. the compatibility between national frameworks as resulting from the implementation of EU directives.

Thanks to this set of resources and functionalities, the CrossJustice platform will contribute to meet all needs above indicated, in the domain of criminal procedure rights. In particular, it will contribute to:
• Provide an ICT-supported analysis and assessment over the compliance of national legislation with EU acquis on the matter
• Support capacity building of legal professionals, by enabling lawyers and students to complement their knowledge of the national implementation of the EU acquis on procedural rights

More generally, the CrossJustice project will contribute to the following:
• Strengthen the cooperation and exchange of information between competent judicial and law enforcement authorities on the rights of persons suspected or accused of crime;
• Increase the awareness of relevant policy makers on substantial differences in the rights of persons suspected or accused of crimes across different national systems to facilitate the harmonisation of practices concerning procedural rights.


The team

Group members

External Partners

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