The Recent Luxembourg Case-Law on Procedural Rights in Criminal Proceedings: Towards Greater Convergence with Strasbourg?

Criminal proceedings are an area characterised by an ever-increasing interplay between EU law and the Convention, not least as a result of the Directives on procedural rights in criminal proceedings, which cover a sizeable number of topics already regulated by Article 6 of the Convention on the right to a fair trial. This expanding overlap between EU law and the Convention resulting in two sets of regulations to be applied to the same domestic proceedings is a challenge for all concerned: lawyers, accused persons, victims, prosecutors, domestic judges, European judges.

In this context, the way in which the CJEU, in charge of authoritatively interpreting these Directives, goes about dealing with this challenge and the amount of coherence it thereby achieves with the Strasbourg case-law are highly relevant, not only for the lawyers, prosecutors and judges who have to handle these multiple legal sources, but also in terms of the efficiency of these procedural fundamental rights altogether, which should not be allowed to contradict each other, as this would weaken them.

These considerations and interrogations are at the heart of the short paper enclosed below.