Research team

Law Enforcement

Expertise

Legal psycholoy research on the pre-trial stage in criminal proceedings, such as police interviewing, interrogation of juvenile suspects, legal assistance, use of suspect's rights. Legal psychology research on legal decision making in criminal cases, in particular evidential value of criminal evidence. Expert-witness in criminal cases. Training of legal actors (police, lawyers).

Right to silence and related rights in pre-trial suspects interrogations in the EU: legal and empirical study and related best practice (ReSILIENT). 01/04/2019 - 31/03/2021

Abstract

The project contributes directly to the call priorities, namely effective and coherent implementation of Directive 2016/343, as well as Directives 2013/48/EU and 2016/1916 (among others). The project will examine, legally and empirically, the issues surrounding the implementation of RTS and other relevant rights, such as the right of access to a lawyer/legal aid, to information and access to material evidence, or the procedural guarantees for vulnerable suspects, in the context of pre-trial suspect interrogations in four selected EU MS: Belgium, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. The countries were selected to ensure variety in the legal procedural systems and geopolitical situation. Subsequently, a comparative analysis will be carried out, leading to the identification of mechanisms and factors, which influence the implementation of the above-mentioned provisions. Best practices in effectuating these provisions in the daily practice of judicial actors will be identified. There exists a gap in the knowledge necessary for the effective transposition of RTS in pre-trial proceedings in the laws of Member States. This project aims to address the above-mentioned gaps. Additionally, it aims to contribute to a more evidence-based policy discourse around the RTS on the EU level, and more importantly in the individual Member States. RTS is one of the most politically debated procedural rights, the very rationale of which is sometimes brought into question (e.g., in respect of suspects of terrorism or organised crime). At the same time, the 5 discourse on RTS is often dominated by untested and generalised assumptions, such as that "only the guilty remain silent" or that "RTS prevents effective investigations." This project will provide reliable and robust empirical data on the practical implementation of RTS, with the view to improving the quality of the relevant discourse.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Strengthening the protection of suspects' procedural rights in pretrial proceedings in the EU through practice-oriented training for laywers (SUPRALAT). 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2017

Abstract

The overall project's goal is to contribute to the effective implementation of the Directives 2010/64/EU on the right to interpretation and translation, 2012/13/EU on the right to information, 2013/48/EU on the right of access to a lawyer. It will be achieved through the development of a training program for lawyers on the day-to-day facilitation of suspects' procedural rights. The program will consist of practitioner training modules and a "train the trainer" (TTT) guide. The training focuses on pre-trial proceedings, because the Directives will mostly affect these procedural stages in the MS. It targets lawyers, as their role at pre-trial stages will expand greatly after the Directives' transposition. For example, lawyers will be expected to actively defend suspects' rights at police interrogations, which in most MS was not part of their role. However, a large part of the program will also be suitable for training police, judges and prosecutors. The objectives are: 1. Develop a training program for lawyers as described above, and pilot it in four EU countries: BE, HU, IE and NL 2. Advocate for practice-oriented training on facilitating suspects' rights in pre-trial proceedings to become part of professional training curricula for criminal lawyers in EU MS 3. Contribute to the exchange of best practices on facilitating the rights envisaged in the Directives among lawyers across the EU 4. Promote joint training of professionals involved in the delivery of suspects' rights at pre-trial stages to foster their cooperation in the application of the Directives. The project consists of 6 phases: 1. Develop European training modules to include knowledge-oriented (KO) and skills-oriented (SO) modules. KO modules will cover: the content and interpretation of the Directives (e.g. in view of ECtHR case law); roles/obligations of the relevant actors implied in the Directives; "best practices" in facilitating suspects' rights identified through empirical research. SO modules will train critical skills needed to facilitate procedural rights (e.g. to inform vulnerable suspects about their rights). 2. Develop a TTT guide on the use of these modules 3. Adjust the training program for national use in BE, IE, HU and NL 4. Train the trainers involved in lawyers' training in BE, IE, HU and NL (with participation of police, judges' and prosecutors' trainers) 5. Pilot the training modules in BE, IE, HU and NL. Parts of the training will be attended by police, prosecutors and/or judges to test the joint training design 6. Present/disseminate the training program to professional (training) organizations of lawyers and other stakeholders EU-wide

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The (evidential) value of statements by (cooperative) suspects: how to make suspects cooperative? 01/07/2010 - 30/06/2014

Abstract

The study examines 'the role of the statement by a cooperative suspect (guilty/innocent) in Belgian criminal cases' from a legal perspective (evidential value) as well as a psychology and law and a sociology and law perspective(stimulation of cooperation) . The study concerns (1) a legal analysis and literature screening and (2) a field study consisting of a combination of quantitative (questionnaires, case analysis) and qualitative methods (semi-structured interviews).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Multiple community policing: why ? 01/12/2005 - 30/11/2008

Abstract

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)