Protection orders in the European Member States: Where do we stand and where do we go from here?

Suzan van der Aa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article tries to provide an overview of current criminal, civil and administrative protection order legislation in the 27 European Member States by comparing five studies that have (laterally) touched upon this topic. Although the data are sometimes questionable and, on occasion, even contradictory, the general picture emerges that there is a huge variation in levels of victim protection across the EU. In some Member States there are considerable gaps in victim protection legislation, for example, because there is no (pre-trial or post-trial) protection in criminal proceedings or because civil protection orders and/or barring orders are not available. If we agree that in the light of today's emphasis on victim protection the current gaps in protection order legislation can no longer be accepted, a strategy needs to be devised on how to solve this problem. It was argued that the European Union could play an important part in addressing the protective vacuum, first by supporting thorough research into the current status of protection order legislation and implementation in the 27 Member States, and second by further exploring certain 'soft law' possibilities such as co-regulation or the open method of coordination.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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