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Fiches Belges: Franta

Tracking transfrontalier (prin plasarea unui emiţător pe un vehicul sau persoană) (803)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Franta

Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

Act number 2014-372 of 28 March 2014 on the use of global positioning system (GPS) technology provides, from now on, in national law, a legislative framework for this measure. Concerning [outgoing] letters of request for mutual assistance issued by the French judicial authorities: The activation or continued use, beyond national borders, of a telecommunications terminal or the remote monitoring, outside the national territory, of a global positioning system (tracker/surveillance device) placed on a vehicle (means of transport) or on any other object requires the issuing of an international request for mutual assistance which will be executed in accordance with the law of the requested State. In cases where tracking is accompanied by the physical surveillance of a person who is travelling towards the territory of another State, the request for mutual assistance can take the form of a request for the authorisation of cross-border observation under the conditions provided in article 40 of the Convention on the Implementation of the Schengen Agreement (CISA) of 14 June 1985. At the investigation stage, if this involves a request to activate a tracker device in a foreign country, the request must be addressed to the foreign authority for execution under the relevant conventions and according to the means of transmission provided under these conventions, or, in cases of reciprocity, in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure. If the case concerns a request to continue, beyond the border, the monitoring of a tracker that has been put in place on the national territory, the request must, in particular, contain the prosecution documents and, possibly, in cases where it is requested that the measure be extended, the documents of the freedom and custody judge who authorised the measure in France. At the judicial investigation stage, the international letter of request for mutual legal assistance is issued, in accordance with the same principles, by the investigating judge. If the case concerns a request to continue, beyond the border, the monitoring of a tracker that was put in place on the national territory, the request must contain the special letter of request which authorised the measure in France. In all cases, the request for mutual assistance must, furthermore, contain material enabling the precise identification of the vehicle or of the object which is the subject of the tracking. Concerning incoming letters of request for mutual assistance issued by foreign judicial authorities: The Office of International Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters of the Ministry of Justice, which is a central authority and not a judicial authority, retains its authority to issue an authorisation for cross-border observation on the basis of article 40 of the Convention on the Implementation of the Schengen Agreement or article 12 of the Paris Agreement. On the other hand, as soon as a tracking device which has been placed on a vehicle crosses the border it will be necessary for the foreign authorities to send a letter of request. The letter of request must be transmitted to the competent French judicial authority. If the facts of the case for which the observation (surveillance) is being requested are within the provisions of articles 706-73 and 706-74 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (organised crime), authorisation can be requested from the Specialised Interregional Jurisdictions (JIRS). In other cases it will be the first prosecution service with territorial jurisdiction in the district in which the tracking device arrives on French soil. So it will be the prosecutor or the investigating judge with territorial jurisdiction at the first point of entry into national territory. Once the authorisation has been given, as set out above, by the Specialised Interregional Jurisdictions (JIRS) or by the territorial jurisdiction, the authorisation is valid for the whole of the French national territory. If it is not known where the point of entry will be, it will be the border-JIRS (the Specialised Interregional Jurisdiction responsible for the border) if the offence that is the subject of the request for assistance is one of the offences set out in articles 706-73 and 706-74 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Failing that, the public prosecutor or the investigating judge of Paris will have competence.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Franta

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

• The European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959 (and its two Additional Protocols of 17 March 1978 and 8 November 2001); • The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 29 May 2000.

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Franta

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

See question 1. In terrorism cases it will be the Paris prosecution service.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

N/A

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Franta

Accepted languages for the request/decision

FRENCH

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Franta

Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

Letters of request for mutual legal assistance concerning cross-border tracking, and advance copies of such requests, must be addressed to the prosecution service of the JIRS (the Specialised Interregional Jurisdiction) or to the prosecution service with territorial jurisdiction. The matter must be referred to the prosecutor as soon as the tracker has been put in place or as soon as the continued monitoring of a tracking device is envisaged. If it is impossible, before the crossing of the French border, to request an authorisation to continue monitoring a tracking device, the case can nonetheless be referred to the competent prosecution service to request its authorisation; the fact that the authorisation has not been requested in advance will not prevent the authorisation from being given after the border has been crossed. As regards the question of which law is applicable for the supervision of the lawfulness of an enforcement action, it is the law of the foreign authority that is applicable.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Franta

a. Special requirements

N/A

b. Other useful information

N/A

Last reviewed on 6 iulie 2016 by Secretariatul RJE

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