Tag Archives: translation

Commission Proposes Miranda-Like Procedure for Arrest

The European Commission has proposed a directive to set common minimum standards for the right to information in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union. According to the proposal Member States must ensure that any person who is suspected or accused of having committed a criminal offence is provided promptly with information on his procedural rights in simple and accessible language, including as a minimum:

– the right of access to a lawyer, where necessary free of charge,

– the right to be informed of the charge and, where appropriate, to be given access to the case-file,

– the right to interpretation and translation,

– the right to be brought promptly before a court if the suspected or accused person is arrested.

The Commission says that a number of recent studies have shown that the way suspects are informed of their rights varies widely and that in the majority of cases information on rights is only provided orally, which decreases its effectiveness and makes it more difficult to monitor. The proposal naturally invokes the comparison with the Miranda warning in the US.

Proposal for Directive on Fair Trial Rights

The European Commission has proposed a new Directive on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings. The main provisions are:

Interpretation would have to be provided for communication with lawyers as well as during investigations – such as police questioning – and at trial.

To make sure that proceedings are fair, the proposal covers written translation of all essential documents such as the detention order, the charge sheet or indictment or vital pieces of evidence. Citizens should not have to rely only on an oral translation that summarises the evidence.

Citizens must have the right to legal advice before waiving the right to interpretation and translation. People should not be pressured into giving up their rights unless they have spoken to a lawyer.