European Criminal Bar Association statement of principles on the use of video-conferencing in criminal cases in a Post-Covid-19 World1

AuthorVânia Costa Ramos,Nicola Canestrini,Amedeo Barletta,Alexis Anagnostakis,Jaanus Tehver
Publication Date01 September 2021
DOI10.1177/20322844211013541
Date01 September 2021
SubjectAnalysis/Opinion
Analysis/Opinion
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2021, Vol. 12(3) 476493
© The Author(s) 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/20322844211013541
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European Criminal Bar
Association statement of
principles on the use of
video-conferencing in criminal
cases in a Post-Covid-19
World
1
Vˆ
ania Costa Ramos
Criminal Lawyer, Vice-Chair of the ECBA, Portugal
Alexis Anagnostakis
Criminal Lawyer, Human Rights Off‌icer of the ECBA, Greece
Amedeo Barletta
Criminal Lawyer, Member of the Advisory Board of the ECBA, Italy
Jaanus Tehver
Criminal Lawyer, Member of the Advisory Board of the ECBA, Estonia
Nicola Canestrini
Criminal Lawyer, Member of the Human Rights Committee of the ECBA, Italy
Abstract
This is a statement by the European Criminal Bar Association on the use of Video-Conferencing in
Criminal Cases in a Post-Covid-19 World. It addresses the topic using a two-fold distinction
between the use of remote hearings in domestic and in cross-border cases, on one hand, and the use
of such of remote technology for conducting interviews of the suspect or accused in the pre-trial
stages or at trial hearings, on the other hand. Recognising that these distinctive settings impact
differently upon the seriousness of the interference with the fair trial rights and the rights of defence
of the suspect or accused, and also upon the circumstances that must be weighed in order to assess
whether restrictions are proportionate, adequate and necessary, the European Criminal Bar
Association assesses whether the use of remote technologies in those different settings is ac-
ceptable and outlines proposals for further action in the f‌ield.
1. For further information and comments on this statement, please contact the ECBA at secretariat@ecba.org.
Keywords
Right to be present, fair trial, video-conferencing, remote hearings, European investigation order,
European arrest warrant, cross-border evidence, dual defence, cross-border defence
CONTENTS
Foreword
A. Introduction
B. Cross-Border cases
B.1. Interview of the Suspect or Accused by Video in Cross-Border cases in the Pre-Trial
Stage is it appropriate?
B.2. Participation of the Accused by Videoconference is his or her Trial in Cross-Border
cases is it appropriate?
B.3. Action to be Taken?
B.4. What are the requisite legal safeguards in Cross-border cases?
C. Domestic cases
C.1. Interview of the Suspect or Accused by Video in Domestic cases in the Pre-Trial
Stage is it appropriate?
(a) Interviews with the purpose of advancing the investigation
(b) Interviews with the aim of deciding on pre-trial detention and interviews in the scope of
a pre-trial screening stage, after a formal indictment has been brought, with a view of avoiding
trial
C.2. Participation of the Accused by Videoconference is his or her Trial in Domestic cases
is it appropriate?
C.3. Action to be Taken
C.4. What are the requisite legal safeguards in Domestic cases?
D. What should be the requisite technical safeguards for videoconferencing in criminal
proceedings?
E. Video-Link in Criminal trials and the open/transparency issue and the privacy issue
Foreword
This statement was drafted by the above-mentioned authors in September 2020 and approved by the
Advisory Board of the European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA). The authors named above were
the rapporteurs, but the paper was subject to discussion with a wider public and benef‌ited in
particular from contributions of Members of the Working Group (Adriana de Buerba, Anna
Oehmichen, Constance Ascione le Dr´
eau, Demetra Sorvatizioti, Finn Meinel, Gwen Jansen, Juan
Palomino, Maria Radziejowska, Mikolaj Pietrzak, Rebecca Niblock, Robin L ¨
o¨
of and Vladimir
Hrle).
The ECBA thanks the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), in particula r Ondrej
Laciak, chair of the CCBE Criminal Law Committee, and Peter McNamee, Senior Legal Advisor,
and Fair Trials, in particular Laure Baudrihaye-G´
erard, Legal Director (Europe) and Ilze Tralmaka,
Legal and Policy Off‌icer, for the exchange of views on this topic and comments on the earlier
versions of the draft.
Ramos et al. 477

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