Information and Toolkits

Toolkit: Access to a Lawyer Directive


This toolkit is designed to give practical advice, mainly to defence practitioners, on how to use the Directive on Access to a Lawyer in criminal proceedings. It is intended to provide practical assistance and to serve as a source of references on the interpretation and application of the key provisions of the Directive.

The toolkit compiles the latest relevant developments in the jurisprudence of Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights and identifies the key problems regarding the implementation of the Directive across the EU Member States. It includes arguments that can be used by lawyers in domestic criminal proceedings where national law or practice falls short of the standards set by the Directive.

Where questions of EU law are raised in national proceedings, lawyers can ask the national court to make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the CJEU. For further information, please refer to the CJEU Preliminary Reference Toolkit.

Fair Trials has also produced toolkits on:
• The Right to Interpretation and Translation Directive
• The Right to Information Directive
• The Legal Aid Directive
• The Presumption of Innocence Directive
• The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union