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More Safeguards in Criminal Proceedings? - by Siobhain Egan

In its latest move to ensure that all EU citizens receive a fair trial, wherever they are in the EU, the European Commission has presented a package of proposals to further strengthen procedural safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings.

These most recent proposals aim to guarantee respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial; to make sure that children have special safeguards when facing criminal proceedings; guarantee access of suspects and accused to provisional legal aid at the early stages of proceedings and especially for people subject to a European Arrest Warrant.

These proposals are another milestone down the road of procedural rights and aim to complement a set of three other EU laws agreed since 2010: on the right to translation and interpretation, the right to information, and the right to access a lawyer. The hope is that the new proposals will help to ensure the smooth operation of justice in the EU.

The new proposals include:

  • A Directive aimed at strengthening the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings: this will guarantee that (1) guilt cannot be inferred by any official decisions or statements before a final conviction; (2) the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution and any doubt benefits the suspect or accused person; (3) the right to remain silent is guaranteed and not used against suspects to secure conviction; and (4) the accused has the right to be present at the trial.
  • A Directive on special safeguards for children suspected or accused of a crime: It is intended that it will make sure that children, who are vulnerable because of their age, have mandatory access to a lawyer at all stages. This means that children would be unable to waive their right to be assisted by a lawyer.
  • A Directive on the right to provisional legal aid for citizens suspected or accused of a crime and for those subject to a European Arrest Warrant
  • A recommendation on procedural safeguards for vulnerable people suspected or accused in criminal proceedings: ensuring that vulnerable people (for example those suffering from physical or mental disabilities) are detected and recognised, and that their special needs are taken into account in criminal proceedings. The recommendation proposes that vulnerable suspects benefit from special safeguards such as mandatory access to a lawyer, assistance by an appropriate third person and medical assistance.
  • A recommendation on the right to legal aid for suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings: providing common factors to be taken into account in the assessment of whether one has a right to legal aid, and aimed at ensuring the quality and effectiveness of legal aid services and administration.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been charged or fear you may be charged with a criminal offence in another EU country and require specialist legal, advice please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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1830 Hits

Successful defence against Serious Thames Water regulatory prosecution for LNL and Jeremy Ornstin.

Jeremy Ornstin forced Thames Water to withdraw a serious regulatory prosecution on the basis that they had no case for our client to answer. Our detailed and robust defence statement identified the fundamental and fatal flaw in their case.

Yet another example of detailed preparation and good quality legal defence work. If you have been charged with a regulatory crime, click here to get in touch.

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  2018 Hits
2018 Hits

Yet another acquittal for Gary Conway, Danny Barnard and LNL

Crown court trial for handling stolen goods: defendant alleged to have been involved in the removal and then storage of high value BMWs in a facility in east London. The jury were out for 14 minutes before delivering a not guilty verdict. The interesting point is that critical to the Crowns case was the fact that keys to the storage facility where the cars were hidden were found at the defendants home. The inference being that he must have stolen the keys in order to access that facility.

In fact after examining the keys and Gary Conway visited a specialist hardware store, it transpired that the keys found (called fire brigade keys) were actually available for purchase at any hardware store over the counter and accessed all types of locks not just the locks at the storage facility. The officer put in his statement that he was adamant those keys only accessed the facility and was made to look mistaken at trial.

This goes to show the importance of dedicated preparation and investigation when defending criminal cases. In truth, good old fashioned leg work on the part of pro-active defence solicitors always pays off. Sadly in these days when Legal aid is being cut to the bone by government, very few defence solicitors will go to these lengths and follow their clients instructions to the full.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact us now. Click here to get in touch with our london criminal defence lawyers.


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  1690 Hits
1690 Hits

Yet another acquittal success for the excellent Danny Barnard, our in house barrister

The trial was at Southwark Crown Court before Recorder Cherie Booth. The client had been charged with assault and witness intimidation of a 14 year old girl. Essentially this is a neighbour dispute between 2 families. The crowns' case was that that the defendant, a woman of good character in her 40's, saw her neighbour in the street and slapped her to the face and pushed her into the door way of a fish and chip shop. Her neighbour, a 14 year old girl, called the police who arrested the defendant and detained her in a police station for questioning.

Upon being released from the police station the defendant went to the house of her neighbour and banged on the window, threw stones and shouted. The occupants of the house called 999 and the prosecution relied on a tape recording of this call in which shouting can be heard whilst the victim is reporting that the defendant was outside her house. Police were again called and the defendant was arrested for witness intimidation and taken back to the police station for questioning. She was charged with battery and witness intimidation.

In relation to both charges she told police in interview that the victim was lying. She accepted that she admonished the 14 year old girl in the street but denied hitting or pushing her. In relation to the witness intimidation she denied going to the house and stated that she had gone straight home.

At trial the crown called the victim and her mother, an officer also gave evidence. Under cross examination the witnesses provided contradictory accounts which undermined the powerful evidence of the 999 call. Clearly the jury did not find these witnesses credible as it took them just 4 minutes to return unanimous not guilty verdicts on both counts.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact us now. Click here to get in touch with our london criminal defence lawyers.

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1665 Hits

Another Firearms Success for Lewis Nedas Law's Criminal Defence Lawyers

One of our leading criminal lawyers, Miles Herman represented a defendant charged with possessing a firearm.  The case against him rested on forensic/DNA evidence that the Crown sought to show pointed to his possession of the firearm prior to its recovery.

Thanks to detailed and focused representations concerning the strength of DNA evidence and the preparation of full submissions for a contested committal hearing, the Crown offered no evidence on a day prior to committal.

This case was defended skilfully and expertly by Miles who ensured that the prosecution were put on the back foot from a very early stage of proceedings.
This was a fantastic outcome for a client who was looking, on conviction, to receive a minimum term of five years imprisonment.

This is a case where early and detailed consideration of the evidence was both necessary and warranted, and resulted in the outcome secured.


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2415 Hits

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