Post-trial victims' rights in the EU. Do law enforcement motives still reign supreme?

Suzan van der Aa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The EU legislator has been accused of overemphasizing the repressive aspect of law enforcement, while paying less attention to civil liberties, such as fundamental victims' rights. This paper examines the current position of EU crime victims, with a special focus on the execution phase of a criminal procedure. A victimological assessment of (1) the Framework Decisions on custodial sentences and probation measures and (2) the recent EU Victim Directive shows that none of these instruments contains any mechanisms for safeguarding the rights of victims in the post-trial stage. Regardless of the various praiseworthy efforts to further the emancipation of victims, when it comes to the execution phase, victims' rights are still largely neglected, thereby opening the door again to criticism. Granting victims a right to information and a (non-influential) right to be heard would already improve matters greatly. A constitutional assessment indicates that Europe is competent to make these changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Law Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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