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Publication

Presumption of Innocence Toolkit

The right to be presumed innocent means that no person is treated as a criminal unless and until they have been found guilty by a court after a fair trial. It is for the state to establish guilt, not for the defendant to establish their innocence.
In the EU, presumption of innocence is governed by the EU Directive  2016/343. The Directive covers the right not to be presented as guilty by public authorities before the final judgment, the requirement for the burden of proof to be on the prosecution and that any reasonable doubts on the guilt should benefit the accused, the right not to incriminate one-self, the right not to cooperate and the right to remain silent.
Taking into consideration all of these aspects, Fair Trials have developed a Toolkit to help the reader identify areas where current or proposed national law transposing the EU law fails to meet the requirements of the Directive (read with other key international standards) so that these can be addressed in the pre-transposition period, leaving fewer problems for the courts to deal with subsequently. This is an exciting opportunity for practitioners, civil society organisations and any other actors to get involved and participate actively in the process of transposing the Directive via legislative reform and domestic litigation.
To access the Toolkit, please click here.

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please call the media team on +44 (0) 7749 785 932 or email [email protected]

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Some activities in the following sections on this website are funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020): Legal Experts Advisory Panel, Defence Rights Map, Case Law Database, Advice Guides, Resources, Campaigns, Publications, News and Events. This content represents the views of the authors only and is their sole responsibility. It cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.