Article 7 of the Directive 2012/13/EU on the Right to Information in Criminal Proceedings: A Missed Opportunity to Ensure Equality of Arms in Pre-Trial Proceedings?

Anna Pivaty*, Anneli Soo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article critically examines the EU law provisions on the right of access to the materials of the case in pre-trial criminal proceedings (Article 7 of Directive 2012/13/EU). It argues that they are insufficient to ensure adequate protection of this right in Member States. Furthermore, the approach chosen by EU legislator did not properly implement the European principle of the equality of arms in pre-trial proceedings. It is submitted that a clearer standard is needed to ensure an appropriate balance between the interests of adequate protection of individual rights and of protecting safety and security. It is suggested that although some room for national interpretation is desirable, the right of early access to the case materials should be endorsed by all Member States with derogations applied sparingly and under specific circumstances. Here further guidelines from the cjeu play significant role in order to ensure equality of arms in pre-trial proceedings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-154
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • pre-trial criminal proceedings
  • Directive 2012/13/EU
  • right of access to the materials of the case
  • equality of arms

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