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ABOUT DIGIRIGHTS

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the transition to digitalisation occur at startling speed across many domains, including criminal justice proceedings. Here, however, this transition is often without necessary reflection on the legal and practical preconditions required to assure equivalence between offline and online procedural rights.

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Digitalisation is going to change the dynamics of criminal justice beyond the pandemic. This is, therefore, the moment to assess how technology can best serve the needs of both the prosecution and the defence. Focussing on the procedural rights which are susceptible to digitalisation—namely the rights to interpretation, translation, access to the case file, legal assistance and legal aid, and to be present at trial—the DigiRights project maps and assesses the existing practices of digitalisation of these rights with a view to proposing a set of European guidelines for their digital application.

The ultimate goal is to promote a digitalisation of procedural rights that ensures a uniform and adequate standard of protection across the EU. Through national legal and empirical research—considering Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Hungary and Italy—and a European and comparative study, the project will evaluate the degree to which digitalisation of procedural rights is equivalent to their classic recognition.  ​Particular attention will be paid to the use of videoconferencing to connect the accused with their lawyer, interpreter or the court itself, and to the use of artificial intelligence to ensure access to the case file or the translation of legal documents. In directing its guidelines towards national and EU authorities, and law and policy makers, DigiRights aspires to guide current interpretations and future adaptations of EU criminal law on the rights of accused persons, to contribute to the effective and coherent application of such rights, and to aid mutual trust and recognition across Member States.​​

MEET THE TEAM

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