28/03/2018 - - EJN
17th Tool Correspondents meeting of the European Judicial Network

On 21 March 2018, the 17th Tool Correspondents meeting of the European Judicial Network (EJN) took place in The Hague. During this meeting, participants gathered under the Presidency of Bulgaria to discuss the current and future projects foreseen for the update and improvement of the EJN website.

The first item on the agenda was the state of play of the website. Notable new developments are the Judicial Library that after an extensive upgrade was released earlier this year, and the online Reporting tool, that has been used by Contact Points since the beginning of 2017 for reporting their activities. The focus for the near future will be on improving the current EJN tools.

One important improvement in 2018 of the EJN website’s administrative interface, the back-office, will be the integration of the new Monitoring tool. This tool will assist the Tool Correspondents with their task of keeping the website up to date and will allow the EJN Secretariat to gain an overview of the content of the EJN website.

A significant part of the EJN website is only available in English. During the meeting, the method on how to improve the areas of the website that are available in all EU languages was discussed and agreed upon.

The European Investigation Order (EIO) is now in force in most EU Member States. As a result, several EJN tools on the website have been updated. The Tool Correspondents were asked to review the Atlas and the Fiches Belges sections of their countries, to ensure that the EIO is reflected in these tools.

The EJN Secretariat explained about the project of developing short videos (screencasts), in which the functioning of the website and its tools will be highlighted. The Tool Correspondents welcomed this new easy and quick way to get acquainted with the website and its tools and they emphasized that the screencasts should be publically accessible.

The final item on the agenda focussed on the cooperation between the EJN website and the e-Justice Portal. For the foreseeable future the EJN website will not be integrated into the e-Justice Portal. Instead the e-Justice Portal will contain a new section dedicated to the EJN, with links to the various tools of the EJN website. This section of the e-Justice Portal is currently available online for review. The Tool Correspondents noted that some improvements can be made concerning the lay-out and the content.


Background

The European Judicial Network is a network of national contact points. The role of the network is to improve, facilitate and speed up international judicial cooperation in criminal matters and ensure the proper execution of mutual legal assistance and mutual recognition requests, as well as to assist in establishing direct contacts between competent judicial authorities.

The role of the EJN Tool Correspondents is to ensure that all information o the EJN website related to his or her Member State is provided and updated in accordance with the EJN Decision (Council Decision 2008/976/JHA, Article 4.5). Moreover, Article 6.2 of the EJN Decision stipulates that the Tool Correspondents shall meet on an ad hoc basis, at least once a year.

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