Pre-trial Detention and EU Law: Collecting Fragments of Harmonisation Within the Existing Legal Framework

Adriano Martufi*, Christina Peristeridou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Pre-trial detention has yet to be harmonised under EU law, although evidence points to an overuse that may affect mutual trust. Other instruments however exist that might impact on the way national authorities use pre-trial detention. In this Insight, we seek to detect fragments of harmonisation within the existing legal framework. The Insight thus looks at the EU area of criminal justice to highlight intersections between pre-trial detention and existing instruments, such as the procedural rights Directives and the European Arrest Warrant. Our findings show that the symbiosis of pre-trial detention and some procedures created by EU instruments (e.g. surrender proceedings) raise a plethora of questions regarding the legal standards of pre-trial detention. Several juncture points exist where current instruments could or should influence the manner in which pre-trial detention is regulated under national law. Despite these intersections, we conclude that the lack of an EU regulatory framework remains problematic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1492
JournalEuropean Papers : a journal on law and integration
Issue number3
Early online date28 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Dec 2020


  • pre-trial detention
  • harmonisation
  • EU criminal law
  • fundamental rights
  • procedural guarantees
  • detention conditions

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