Article 20 – Right to a review of decisions taken during criminal proceedings

Article 20 – Right to a review of decisions taken during criminal proceedings

1) Member States shall ensure that victims are informed without delay of decisions taken in court proceedings that affect them directly and have the right to a review of such decisions taken in criminal proceedings that affect them directly. Such decisions shall include at least decisions pursuant to the following provisions:

a) Article 7(1) in relation to decisions on interpretation during court hearings criminal proceedings;

b) Article 22 on the right to access legal aid;

c) Articles 29, 30, 33, 34, 35 on victims’ right to protection

2) The procedural rules under which victims may request a review of decisions referred to in paragraph 1 shall be determined by national law. Member States shall ensure that the judicial decisions on the request of such a review are taken within reasonable time.

COMMENTARY – Article 20

The European Commission introduced Article 10b on the right to review decisions taken during court proceedings, which concerns victims’ rights under the directive.

This article was introduced to achieve a more effective access to justice. In 13 Member States, victims have limited legal remedies with which to challenges decisions that affect them directly, regardless of their role in criminal proceedings.

VSE is supportive of the introduction of this new right, which contributes to better participatory rights for victims of crime in the context of criminal proceedings. VSE suggests two amendments to the proposal. Firstly, VSE recommends the removal of the reference to obligation to inform victims about this right. Instead, we suggest this obligation is referred to in the Chapter on Information rights, in Article 6 on the Right to receive information about their case. Secondly, VSE has extended the list of decisions, to ensure that the right to review has a practical impact on improving victims’ rights as properly reflects key moments which can fundamentally affect justice for victims.