Report: Available statistical data and research on flight risk in pre-trial (detention) 

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The National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology authored the report “Available statistical data and research on flight risk in pre-trial (detention) proceedings” as part of the FLIGHTRISK project funded by the European Commission. The project analyses judicial decision-making practice on flight risk as a ground for pre-trial detention and its use considering ECtHR regional standards.  Aiming at setting the current regional state of play, the authors investigated whether statistical data and scientific research on flight risk was available in the Member States of the European Union.  The report concludes there is a lack of conducted empirical data research on pre-trial detention, and even less on the grounds for detention, especially on the assessment of flight risk.

The report aligns with previous research findings on variations in the criteria for assessing flight risk over recidivism or vice versa among EU member states. There are also regional differences within the same jurisdiction. Generally, the decisions based on flight risk are mostly not substantially motivated. Research shows the severity of the offence, lack of strong bonds such as family ties and occupation and importantly foreign nationality are considered in assessing flight risk as grounds for pre-trial detention. The situation of foreigners is specific and locally problematic. In some countries, flight risk is regularly presumed, particularly when they lack a permanent residence or income. Lastly, studies mentioned in the report critically analyze the future potential of AI predictive tools in assessing flight risk.