Defendants (criminal proceedings)
If you are suspected or accused of a criminal offence, these factsheets take you through the criminal process and the various steps involved. They explain your rights and obligations at each stage, from the time of pre-trial investigations, right through to after the trial. The factsheets also provide information on how minor offences, such as road traffic offences, are dealt with.
Victims of crime
If you have fallen victim to a crime, you have a number of rights. This can be within the proceedings against the offender (criminal proceedings) or with regard to compensation, protection and assistance. These rights differ among the different Member States of the European Union (EU).
Find out how fundamental rights are protected in the European Union.
The Regulation on Public Documents (Regulation 2016/1191), which was adopted on 6 July 2016 and applies in all EU countries as from 16 February 2019, simplifies the circulation of certain public documents.
Access to justice in environmental matters
If you are the victim of an environmentally damaging activity or if you are just a vigilant citizen who wants to protect the environment, it is useful to know your rights in either addressing a court of law or introducing a complaint to one of the competent national bodies, particularly if you are abroad. In practising these rights you can also ask for help with practical information from national authorities and organisations. In some cases it may be difficult to know what to do and whom to turn to. These fact sheets will provide you with a range of information on what you can expect in every country in the European Union.