defending rights and civil liberties

The protection of the right to a fair trial and due process requires: access to a lawyer, information, interpreters or translators, respect for the right to defence and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the right for all parties to be heard, equality of arms, the hearing of cases without undue delay by independent and impartial courts, stating the reasons for their decisions, as well as the right to an appeal process that allows the review of rulings by a higher court.

The European Union has initiated a harmonization process of laws within Member States regarding criminal matters, in order to promote and improve the right of access to justice and the guarantees of a fair trial.

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