This research is the first quantitative study carried out in Romania regarding the perspective of suspects and defendants on how their procedural rights were respected in practice. The research was carried out as part of the European project “EQUALITYDATA“, a collaboration between five non-governmental organizations: Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC, coordinator), Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania-Helsinki Committee (APADORCH), Centre for European Constitutional Law (Greece), League of Human Rights and Fair Trials (Belgium). The project was co-funded by the European Union and its results complement previous qualitative and empirical studies carried out by the association on the practical implementation of European Directives in the field of criminal procedural law.
The projects’ aim was to provide a representative picture of how people deprived of their liberty perceived their interaction with the justice system and to establish whether there were discriminatory practices in the criminal justice process in the participating countries from the moment of police arrest to conviction. And, if so, to identify the nature of this discrimination
and the possible impact on the ability of suspects and defendants to exercise their rights.
The project partners believe in the need to collect relevant statistical data on potential differences in the treatment of suspects and defendants belonging to vulnerable groups. Vulnerable groups include any ethnic group, religious group, minorities, migrants, people living in poverty and other groups specific to certain European countries. Without this data, it is impossible to understand the extent of certain phenomena and their causes, and it is impossible to develop public policies adapted to national and European realities.
The implementation of this project in Romania during the Covid-19 pandemic was possible due to the excellent cooperation
with the Romanian National Administration of Penitentiaries (ANP) which fully supported this research. APADOR-CH would
like to express its gratitude to ANP’s management and to each of the 28 penitentiaries where online interviews were conducted,
as well as their staff, involved in identifying detainees who were willing to take part in the survey. Carrying out this research
would not have been possible without the dedicated work of the people working in the prison system.
Legal aid in police custody
Right to information of persons deprived of liberty
Meeting the family and medical assistance
Insults and offensive remarks during the criminal proceedings
Complaints regarding the violation of certain rights
The maximum sentence provided by law for the offense committed
Outcome of the criminal proceedings and the role of the lawyer