40 European measures to fight against trafficking in human beings

The European Commission presented the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016). The strategy includes 40 measures that include the establishment of national law enforcement units specialised in human trafficking and the creation of joint European investigation teams to prosecute cross-border trafficking cases.

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The Council reached a partial general approach to establish minimum rules for the most serious market abuse offences

EU Justice Ministers reached a partial general approach on a directive on criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation, the so called "market abuse directive". The directive would create an obligation for Member States to ensure that these conducts are punishable as criminal offences. They also agreed that that awareness of the rights of victims needs to be raised.

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The right to be informed in criminal proceedings, regulated under a new European law

The Council gave its green light to the Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings, that establishes that suspects of a criminal offence will be informed of their rights in a language they understand. This measure has been taken in order to ensure defendants' right to information during criminal proceedings in the EU.

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In 2011, it was registered an increase of terrorist attacks made by solo actors in the EU

Europol presented the “EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report: TE-SAT 2012” which highlights the increasing prominence of lone and solo actor plots. Nevertheless, also in 2011, the total number of terrorist attacks and terrorism-related arrests in the EU continued to decrease, according to the report.

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EDPS shows its concern on the lack of precision of the ACTA on the treatment of IP rights

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted an opinion which highlights the lack of precision of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) about the measures to be deployed to tackle infringements of intellectual property rights ('IP rights') on the Internet. According to the EDPS, it may have unacceptable side effects on fundamental rights of individuals, if they are not implemented properly.

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The Commission agreed on the legal submission of ACTA to the European Court of Justice

The College of Commissioners agreed on the legal submission of ACTA to allow the European Court of Justice to carry out a detailed examination of whether ACTA is in line with European Fundamental Rights such as the freedom of expression and information or data protection and the right to property including that of intellectual property.

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Cyber attacks on European IT systems would become a criminal offence

Civil Liberties Committee backed the draft law which proposes to punish by at least two years in prison the cyber attacks on IT systems. In addition, possession or distributing hacking software and tools would be an offences, as well as illegal access, interference or interception of data. However, no criminal sanctions should apply to "minor cases", i.e. when the damage caused by the offence is insignificant.

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The Commission inaugurates a new EU Agency for large-scale IT systems

Cecilia Malmström, the Home Affairs Commissioner, inaugurates for managing large-scale EU information systems, a new EU Agency in Tallinn, Estonia. The Agency will ensure the Visa Information (VIS) and EURODAC systems operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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The European Crystal Scales of Justice Prize is now open for applications

Courts, associations and legal professionals, prosecutor's offices, non-governmental organisations, or any other entity responsible for justice affairs in the Member States of the Council of Europe or the European Union can now apply to the 2012 edition of the European "Crystal Scales of Justice" prize for innovative practices contributing to the efficiency and quality of civil justice.

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Court of Justice rules that dentists who broadcasts phonograms in his private dental practice are not breaking the EU law

The Court of Justice rules that a dentist who broadcasts phonograms free of charge in his dental practice, for the benefit of his clients and enjoyed by them without any active choice on their part, is not making a ‘communication to the public’ for the purposes of EU law.In addition to this, such a broadcast is not of a profit-making nature, it does not, therefore, give rise to a right to remuneration for phonogram producers.

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The European Parliament considers that a website launched by the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) incites discrimination

The resolution approved by the European Parliament with regard to the a Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) website calls on the Dutch government to condemn this website. According to the text, the website goes against the fundamental European values of human dignity. In addition, MEPs ask to stop the spread of xenophobic attitudes like those expressed on this website.

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The EU will have a European Certificate of Succession

The European Parliament approved the new rules to easier the cross-border inheritances, thus avoiding costly legal disputes and cutting red tape for heirs. In addition, the new rules will create a European Certificate of Succession that would not be mandatory. These new rules will apply in the EU except in Denmark, UK and Ireland if the Council gives its final approval.

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