The Guide was produced by the High Level Working Group on Criminal Procedure ("Brussels Working Group"), which was established on the initiative of the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship in 2006. This group comprised the experts from the international organisations and the national authortities of different participating States in order to reflect criminal justice systems within the OSCE area and guarantee an approach based on international law. This is the Volume 2 in the SPMU Publication Series.
The lessons-learned during field missions in post conflict regions, the assessment of difficult ongoing legal reform activities, the legal and practical difficulties and obstacles encountered in establishing a well-functioning criminal justice system in various European States and regions and the almost permanent call for more effective and efficient international legal co-operation in combating crime and impunity show that the Reference Guide to Criminal Procedure is an essential tool that is urgently needed by all national and international practitioners working in the field of criminal justice.
The concept of a “Reference Guide” rather than a rigid model, leaves room for flexibility, for a dynamic and evolving approach, for adaptation to the different law systems and law traditions and intends to contribute therefore to the essential confidence in and sustainability of the legal criminal system and its institutions.