The fundamental rights landscape
Institutional procedures on the follow-up of allegations of scientific misconduct are, in general terms, still a recent development in Europe. As they are progressively being refined, strengthened and clarified, it is important to keep in mind that they do not exist in a legal vacuum, but are interconnected with other relevant legal frameworks, including all potentially applicable provisions related to disciplinary sanctions.
Above all these legal instruments, are also applicable basic fundamental rights obligations, such as those emanating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. These include requirements applicable to the fairness of procedures, but also more generally to academic freedom, freedom of expression and the right to respect for their private life – again, of both those accused of misconduct, and those putting forward allegations of misconduct.