.
Skip to content.
Skip to content.
Meetings Calendar 2006
January
.
February
.
March
.
April
.
May
.
June
.
March
  Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su  
 
.
.
1
.
2
.
3
.
4
.
5
.
 
  6
.
7
.
8
.
9
.
10
.
11
.
12
.
 
  13
.
14
.
15
.
16
.
17
.
18
.
19
.
 
  20
.
21
.
22
.
23
.
24
.
25
.
26
.
 
  27
.
28
.
29
.
30
.
31
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
 
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 
Service
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Information about justice matters

 

I. Austria’s Position on the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Criminal Proceedings

1. Austria is committed and determined to provide fair modalities for criminal proceedings which comprise the protection of fundamental rights of victims and accused persons. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms has constitutional status in Austria. As of 01 January 2008, completely renewed criminal proceedings will enter into force that will address this issue.

2. In Europe, Austria will focus on those areas that are essential so that Union citizens can have confidence and understanding.

3. The further development of cross-border cooperation is necessary for fighting crimes and prosecuting offences effectively, especially with regard to the recognition and enforcement of decisions taken in other Member States.

4. However, in this area the parties involved are confronted with legal systems of which they have little knowledge and that are unfamiliar to them; they are unable to assess the consequences of, for example, waiving attendance of a trial, or if it is possible to resort to legal remedies. In addition, there is the problem of insufficient familiarity with the foreign language.

5. In this area, the current legal instruments in the field of mutual recognition resort to grounds for refusal, which are interpreted differently in the respective nationalimplementing measures. It is obvious that this has a delaying effect on proceedings.

6. With a new approach, Austria would like to propose minimum guarantees for fair proceedings, as well as for the protection of the individual in such proceedings and thus to contribute to an efficient prosecution of criminal offences.

7. Example: In criminal proceedings in Country A, the court issues a search warrant and a seizure order that is to be recognized and executed in Country B. The two codes of procedure differ on the question as to whether the decision can be appealed in court. Or: An accused is charged with an offence in Country A and asked during the interrogation whether he/she waives being present at the trial. A judgment by default is then issued, which County B is now asked to enforce. What rights under what code of procedure may the convicted person now claim in such a case?

 

II. Austria’s Position on the Harmonization of Criminal Provisions:

1. The confidence that citizens have in their penal-law system is a basic element for the acceptance of these standards, which distinguish between right and wrong.

2. In this connection, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice has led to confusion and blurred principles, on account of its decision on the framework decision on the protection of the environment through criminal law.

3. Accordingly, criminal-law provisions may be introduced by way of regulations, as an annex to Community-law arrangements. This would also mean that they could be agreed upon outside the Council of Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs. National legislators would lose their legislative competences, as well as their influence on preserving the respective national criminal-law systems. 

4. Austria would like to ensure that mechanisms are established to avoid that  Union citizens feel alienated by  fundamental criminal provisions adopted at EU level. The influence of the national parliaments and the respective ministers of justice and home affairs must be fully safeguarded so that criminal law and changes of criminal provisions continue to be accepted by the citizens - in keeping with the principle of subsidiarity.

 

 

Date: 17.02.2006