Uncovering anti‑Roma discrimination in European criminal justice systems: Access to legal assistance


“I did not hear anybody doubt that a Roma person was not guilty… If you have a Roma client the chances of winning are lower, and people are surprised that you make an effort to defend him. The judge doesn’t even look at the file.” (Defence lawyer, Romania)

“Justice is for those who have money. It’s not the same for everyone.” (Roma woman, Spain)

This animation portrays real life experiences uncovered in our research.

Racial prejudice is widespread in societies across Europe, and it affects many ethnic groups. Given their long history of persecution and continuing socio-economic challenges, Roma are especially vulnerable to harmful stereotyping and negative societal attitudes that influence perceptions
of criminal justice decision-makers, and impact criminal justice outcomes.

New research carried out by criminal justice NGO Fair Trials, in partnership with APADOR-CH, the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, and Rights International Spain shows the prevalence of discriminatory views against Roma in criminal justice systems of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Spain

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