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Reforming defence rights in French police custody: a coming together in Europe?

Dorange, Aude and Field, Stewart Andrew ORCID: 2012. Reforming defence rights in French police custody: a coming together in Europe? International Journal of Evidence and Proof 16 (2) , pp. 153-174. 10.1350/ijep.2012.16.2.396

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In April 2011 a major reform of the law regulating the police custody phase (la garde à vue) was adopted by the French Parliament and implemented in June 2011. The new legislation confirms the right of immediate access to a lawyer in police custody and establishes a right to have that lawyer present during interrogation. This follows a series of decisions in 2010 by the European Court of Human Rights, the French Constitutional ‘Court’ (Conseil constitutionnel) and the final appeal court with jurisdiction over criminal matters (la Chambre criminelle de la Cour de cassation). These decisions declared existing limits to defence rights in the French police custody phase to be contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, unconstitutional and unlawful. These developments have been much discussed in France (both positively and negatively) because they seem to signal a further shift away from France's inquisitorial tradition in criminal process. They can also be seen as part of a coming together of defence rights across Europe prompted by the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: France; Legal advice; Police custody; Defence rights
Publisher: Vathek Publishing
ISSN: 1365-7127
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:15

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