The obligation to provide legal aid to those lacking sufficient resources forms part of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as a necessary tool for ensuring effective access to justice. In the framework of the Stockholm Programme, a proposal on a new legislative instrument on access to a lawyer in criminal matters is currently being considered and a report on the application in the Member States of Directive 2003/8/EC on legal aid in cross-border disputes is foreseen by the European Commission.
This conference organised jointly by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) and the Academy of European Law (ERA) on the occasion of the CCBE's 50th anniversary, aims at providing a forum for informed discussion on the future of legal aid in Europe, bringing together as keynote speakers key figures from the European institutions, to be followed by a discussion between legal practitioners, academics, EU officials and stakeholders dealing with the issue.
Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union
Council Directive 2002/8/EC of 27 January 2003, to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid for such disputes
Resolution of the Council of 30 november 2009, on a roadmap for strengthening procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings (2009/C 295/01)
CCBE Recommendations on Legal Aid