Challenges at the Crossroads of the European, National and Private Spheres
Edited by Sybe de Vries, Henri de Waele and Marie-Pierre Granger
Chapter 9: Pursuing Union citizenship rights: access to justice
Access to justice has a great effect on citizens for a multitude of issues and concerns. The notion can be broadly defined as encompassing a variety of rights and instances. In the context of the present chapter, access to justice is linked to the cases of data protection, civil litigation, and criminal proceedings in the national practices of selected Member States, which are all instances where disputes involving Union citizens may arise. A variety of approaches to access to justice emerge, depending on the national context, the level of adherence to EU legal instruments, and the resources allocated to the implementation of access to justice mechanisms. The conclusions point to a need to restate the importance of lifting barriers to the known and new limits to access to justice for Union citizens, and possibly implementing innovative ways for citizens to access legal aid and services.
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