Article 27 – Right to protection

Article 27 – Right to protection

Without prejudice to the rights of the defence, Member States shall ensure that measures are available to protect victims and their family members from secondary and repeat victimisation, from intimidation and from retaliation, including against the risk of emotional or psychological harm, and to protect the privacy and dignity of victims during criminal proceedings, in particular during questioning and when testifying. When necessary, Such measures shall also include procedures established under national law for the physical protection of victims and their family members.

COMMENTARY – Article 27

The European Commission did not make changes to this article in its proposal for a revised VRD.

In practice, research has shown that the protection available to victims and their family members is inadequate. As shown by the VSE VOCIARE Synthesis report and VSE Discussion Paper on Safe Justice, protection measures are not generally made available to all victims. When measures are available, they are often improperly implemented and enforced, leading to victims and victims’ families suffering further harm and retraumatisation.

It is our understanding that this article sets out the scope of protection measures that should be available to victims and victims’ families. This includes safeguarding their privacy, ensuring the availability of physical protection measures, and extending protection throughout criminal proceedings. Our changes reflect this general understanding in the umbrella article on right to protection.