The UN General Assembly Resolution on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Proceedings - an Example for Europe

4 / 2013

The EU’s attempts to adopt an EU-wide instrument on the right to access to legal aid in criminal proceedings have not been successful so far. The important issue was originally part of Measure C of the Roadmap for criminal procedural rights,1 but due to political difficulties legal aid was dropped from the agenda. However, on a different plane agreement was reached on this topic as the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted the world’s first international instrument dedicated to access to legal aid in December 2012.2 This policy brief argues that the EU should carry on in the ‘spirit’ of these recent developments and adopt a directive providing suspects and defendants with ac- cess to legal aid.