End of June, the EC published the adopted evaluation of the Victims’ Rights Directive. The evaluation shows that the Victims’ Rights Directive has greatly contributed to improving the lives of victims across the EU. However, the evaluation also points that there are still situations where not all victims can fully rely on their rights due to a lack of clarity and precision in the drafting of some of the rights in the Directive. The Commission will continue working on strengthening victims’ rights and plans to propose a revision of the Victims’ Rights Directive next year.
The Victims’ Rights Directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime and ensures that persons who have fallen victim to crime are recognised and treated with respect. They must also receive proper protection, support and access to justice. The Directive considerably strengthens the rights of victims and their family members to information, support and protection. It further strengthens the victims’ procedural rights in criminal proceedings. The Directive also requires that EU countries ensure appropriate training on victims’ needs for those officials who are likely to come into contact with victims.
EU countries had to implement the provisions of the Directive into their national laws by 16 November 2015. In 2013, the European Commission issued a guidance document to assist EU countries in this process. On 11 May 2020, the European Commission adopted a report on the implementation of the Victims’ Rights Directive. The report assesses the extent to which Member States have taken the necessary measures to comply with its provisions.
La Strada International has closely monitored and contributed to the evaluation and will now continue to follow the revision process.