04/07/2017 - - EJN
48th Plenary of the European Judicial Network, 29 to 30 June - Valletta, Malta

The 48th Plenary of the European Judicial Network (EJN) took place from 29 to 30 June in Valletta under the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The meeting gathered more than 130 participants: local authorities from the Republic of Malta, EJN Contact Points from the EU Member States, candidate, associated and third countries, as well as representatives from Eurojust, the European Commission, the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU and partner organisations.

During the course of the Plenary, participants focused on a variety of important issues, including the latest information on combating money laundering, the first experiences with the application of the European Investigation Order and the consequences of the judgment of the European Court of Justice in the Aleksei Petruhhin v. Latvijas Republikas Ģenerālprokuratūra. The Plenary opened on Thursday morning with remarks by Dr Owen BONNICI, Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government of the Republic of Malta, Mr Peter Grech, Attorney General of the Republic of Malta,  Ms Ann-Marie Cutajar, EJN National Correspondent for the Republic of Malta and Mr Ola Löfgren, Secretary to the EJN who welcomed the participants and outlined some of the important issues the 48th EJN Plenary would be addressing. 

Next, the EJN Secretariat informed participants about the EJN Priorities for the coming six months, the execution of the EJN work programme for 2017 and ongoing projects, including the upgrade/reorganisation of the Judicial Library, the necessary updates with the gradual coming into force of the European Investigation Order and the new online tool for reporting EJN statistics and activities. The report of activities of the EJN for 2015/2016 and the contributions which are to be made by the EJN contact points were also discussed briefly.

Money Laundering 

Information on the initiatives taken recently at the EU level relative to money laundering, the funding of terrorism and contrasting these phenomena, namely the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the proposal to amend this Directive and the proposal for a directive to counter money laundering through criminal law were discussed in detail by Mr Jonathan Phyall, representative from the Maltese Financial and Intelligence Analysis Unit.

The European Investigation Order 

The presentations by Ms Cécile Soriano and Ms Tania Scroeter, representatives from the European Commission, focused on the overview and future actions that have been planned to facilitate the application of the European Investigation Order (EIO), in particular on obtaining electronic evidence. In this light, it was mentioned the work done by the EIO expert group consisting of various representatives, including EJN Contact Points - an electronic version of the EIO form which provides advise on how to fill in the form and the future actions regarding electronic evidence.

During the afternoon, participants discussed the following topics in three workshops:

  • Workshop I & II: Practical application of the Directive 2014/41/EU regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters
  • Workshop III: Practical aspects regarding the relation between extradition and the European Arrest Warrant surrender procedures raised by the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-182/15 Petruhhin

On the following day the workshop rapporteurs presented the outcome of the discussions to the Plenary and the EJN Contact Points and partners provided updates regarding the latest developments on their countries or organisations.

Mr Steven Cras, EJN Contact Point and representative from the General Secretariat of the Council, presented the latest developments on the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Some of the topics mentioned were the state of play of the Freezing and Confiscation new legal instrument, the European Public Prosecutors Office, the Eurojust Regulation, negotiations on Brexit and electronic evidence.

The Plenary was concluded with an intervention by Ms Imbi Markus, representative of the upcoming Estonian Presidency inviting all participants to Tallinn for the 49th Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network that will continue the discussions on the European Investigation Order, Electronic Evidence and latest developments on the European Arrest Warrant case law.

 

The purpose of the EJN plenary meetings is to allow the contact points to get to know each other and exchange experience and to provide a forum for discussion of practical and legal problems encountered by the Member States in the context of judicial cooperation. The plenary meetings are organised three times a year, two of them in the Member States holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union with the participation of local authorities and one at the premises of Eurojust.

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