30 Nov 2018: In 2017, under the existing European Commission Framework Grant for the Justicia Network, Open Society Justice Initiative conducted a small scale, ten-day scoping study to initiate these explorations and obtain an overview of current practices and main challenges as regards ethnic, racial, or national disparities in criminal justice.
The context for this research is that most European Union Member States have very little or no statistical evidence, research or information on how suspects and accused persons belonging to racial or ethnic minorities are dealt with throughout all stages of criminal proceedings and how they experience those proceedings.
The study consisted primarily of a desk review aiming to collect both quantitative and qualitative data and a secondary analysis of empirical data collected through semi-structured key informant interviews. We carried out the scoping study across Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estonia, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy, Sweden, Cyprus, Greece, and Hungary. Assessments were completed in the fourth quarter of 2017, and results were presented in country – specific reports.
Most importantly, all twelve European Union Members States at took part in the research established that disparities exist for people of various ethnic, racial, and national origins, at least at some stages of their criminal justice systems and in some form. However, the questions surrounding the real scope of the issue, its sources, impacts on criminal justice proceedings and outcomes, and key points in the criminal justice chain resulting in disparate treatment of ethnic, racial, or national groups could not be answered through this study and as such remain unanswered and in need of further in-depth analysis.
To read the report click the link below.