Variable vulnerabilities? Comparing the rights of adult vulnerable suspects and vulnerable victims under EU law

Suzanne van der Aa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

EU instruments regulating the rights of adult vulnerable victims and vulnerable suspects differ in their conceptualization of ‘vulnerability’. The Victim Directive mainly focuses on persons who are vulnerable to secondary victimization due to external factors, while vulnerability in the Recommendation on procedural safeguards for vulnerable persons suspected or accused in criminal proceedings hinges on endogenic factors, such as the suspect’s mental or physical condition. Its aim is to remedy the suspect’s inability to understand and to effectively participate in criminal proceedings. These different conceptualizations have resulted in different guarantees for vulnerable victims and vulnerable suspects. The Recommendation contains provisions that – once adopted in a victims’ rights instrument – could considerably strengthen the current protection of vulnerable victims and vice versa. In order to provide for a more comprehensive protection the EU should embrace both perspectives in its dealings with vulnerable persons, regardless of whether they are victims or suspects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages19
JournalNew journal of European criminal law
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • criminal proceedings
  • EU law
  • victims' rights
  • vulnerable suspects
  • vulnerable victims

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