The right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental right and a cornerstone of fair trail rights’ protection enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. It entails, for instance, that none can be presented as guilty by public authorities before the final judgments and that suspects and accused persons have the right to remain silent and to be present at the trial.

In March 2016, Directive (EU) 2016/343 was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council with the aim of enhancing the right to a fair trial in criminal proceedings by laying down common minimum rules concerning aspects of the presumption of innocence and the right to present at the trial. The Directive strengthens the protection provided by existing legal instruments with a view to improving mutual trust between judicial authorities and fostering mutual recognition of judgments.

DG JUST have tasked Milieu with carrying out a compliance assessment to assess the implementation of the Directive by doing both a completeness and conformity check of the national transposing legislation and implementation measures and checking the practical application of the Directive in 25 Member States (Denmark, Ireland and the UK are excluded).