Fair criminal evidence in Europe: from the European Convention on Human Rights to EU criminal law
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The goal of the thesis is to explore how a concept of fair criminal evidence in Europe can be utilised by the EU in its further steps of integration in the area of European Criminal Law. The answer to this question presupposes that there is indeed such a concept and the exploration can be further split in two questions. Which are the characteristics of a concept on evidential fairness in Europe? Which are the applications of this concept in EU Criminal Law? As far as the characteristics of such a concept are concerned, it is argued that fairness in evidential matters in a European level comes into existence in the realm of the Council of Europe. Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights is presented as evidence-‐relevant, while the context of Strasbourg’s case law is proposed as the right platform for finding the material needed for the distillation of the principles of evidential fairness. In relation to the second question, the interest moves into the European Union and the evidential matters in the context of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. More specifically, it is discussed how the findings about a fair criminal evidence concept apply to the judicial cooperation in criminal evidence in EU level. By the term ‘applying’ it is meant the testing of two different conditions; firstly, if the principles adopted are already followed in practice, and to what extent, and secondly, how they can improve and adjust the existing system. In this process the key role of mutual recognition’s character is demonstrated and particular amendments to existing and future legislative instruments such as the European Evidence Warrant and the European Investigation Order are proposed.
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