Defending the
Human Right
to a
Fair Trial

To see the members of our EU-wide legal experts network, click on the dots

NGOs
Lawyers
Academics/Experts

Who are LEAP?

“I very much appreciate your ongoing support … on procedural rights for suspects and accused persons and your ongoing input into identifying where improvements must be made in the EAW system.”
Commissioner Viviane Reding in a letter to the Legal Experts Advisory Panel

The Legal Experts Advisory Panel (or LEAP) is an EU-wide network of experts in criminal justice and human rights which works to promote fair and effective judicial cooperation within Europe. There are currently over 155 organisational members, with representatives from law firms, CSOs, and academic institutions, covering all 28 EU Member States.

Through Fair Trials’ coordination, LEAP is able to offer an expert view on a broad range of EU criminal justice topics, while also boosting cooperation between human rights defenders in cross-border work. LEAP’s importance has been acknowledged by the EU, which has recognised the network’s contribution to EU Justice.

LEAP works to inform the EU’s work on criminal justice and supports local CSOs in tackling systemic fair trial abuses in their own countries. Significant achievements include:

  • Establishing an active network of representatives from 155 organisations with criminal justice expertise from all 28 member states who are willing and able to contribute to the development of the EU criminal justice agenda,
  • Contributing to the establishment of strong new procedural rights safeguards, including the guarantee of access to a lawyer at all stages of the criminal process for suspects across all EU Member States,
  • Raising awareness of the need for reform of measures such as the European Arrest Warrant and contributing to an EU-level review of its governing legislation.

LEAP is coordinated by Fair Trials Europe with the financial support of the Justice Programme of the European Union.