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.