Europe
EP adopts proposal of criminal suspects' access to lawyer
Last Updated: 2013-09-11 14:50 | Xinhua
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The European Parliament on Tuesday adopted the Commission's proposal of criminal suspects' access to a lawyer, in a bid to further guarantee fair trial rights for citizens.

The proposal ensures that any suspect, no matter where he or she is in the EU, will be guaranteed the right to see a lawyer from the earliest stage of proceedings until conclusion. Anyone arrested will also have the opportunity to communicate with his or her family.

The Parliament adopted the proposal with 661 votes in favor, 29 against and 8 abstentions. Its formal adoption still needs approval from the EU Council.

"I count on national ministers to do their part to make sure that this law swiftly becomes a reality on the ground," the Commission's vice president and justice commissioner Viviane Reding said here on Tuesday.

It has been the third in a series of directives since 2010 to set common minimum standards on the rights of suspects in criminal proceedings across the EU.

The other two proposals concerning the right to translation and interpretation and the right to information in criminal proceedings have been adopted.

The rights to a fair trial are set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights.

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