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June 2011

The European Union has taken a significant step towards guaranteeing the arrest rights of suspects—with the approval by the European Commission, the group’s executive body, of a proposed set of legal requirements that would be binding on all of its 27 member states.

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As presented in a previous post, efforts to secure the right to access a lawyer during police detention are sweeping across Europe. Now it seems it is Malta’s turn.

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On 1 January 2011, the Swiss Code of Criminal Procedure entered into force, bringing with it a massive overhaul of the rules of criminal proceedings in Switzerland.

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Something strange is happening in Europe. After years of inaction, governments are suddenly getting serious about arrest rights. Across the continent, many countries are grappling with how to reform rules on the treatment of suspects in police custody to ensure arrested people access to a lawyer before being questioned.

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