29/12/2020 - - EJN
Brexit: EU UK judicial cooperation after 01.01.21

 

EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Judicial cooperation as per 1 January 2021

 

As of 1 January 2021, the new rules for the judicial cooperation between the European Union and the United Kingdom will apply since parties agreed on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (hereinafter – the Trade and Cooperation Agreement).

With the due respect to the regulation of data protection, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides a new legal basis, as well as makes references to the existing legal framework that covers wide range of judicial cooperation, such as:

- surrender;

- mutual legal assistance;

- exchange of criminal records;

- freezing and confiscation.

 

Surrender

As of 1 January 2021, the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant will no longer apply. The Trade and Cooperation Agreement foresees a surrender mechanism between the EU and the United Kingdom. The rules replace the corresponding provisions of the European Convention on Extradition of 1957 and its additional protocols; and the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, as far as extradition is concerned. Moreover, the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement shall apply in respect of the European Arrest Warrants issued before the end of transition period – 31 December 2020 - where the requested person has not been arrested.

 

Mutual legal assistance

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement supplements the provisions of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959, the Additional Protocol to the European Mutual Assistance Convention of 1978 and the Second Additional Protocol to the European Mutual Assistance Convention of 2001.

In addition to the mentioned legal instruments, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement emphasizes the principle of proportionality, direct contacts between authorities and the investigative measures that shall always be available under the law of requested state – similarly to the EIO Directive. Besides, in principle the requested State shall decide whether to execute the request for mutual assistance as soon as possible and in any event no later than 45 days after the receipt of the request and shall inform the requesting State of its decision, and to execute the request in 90 days after the decision to execute.

 

Exchange of criminal record information

The provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement supplement Articles 13 and 22(2) of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 1959 and its Additional Protocols of 1978 and 2001; and replace Article 22(1) of the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, as supplemented by Article 4 of its Additional Protocol 1978. If compared to the mentioned Articles, the new rules contain more detailed information on the requirements regarding storage of information; the requests and replies, cooperation with the third countries and other related aspects.  

 

Freezing and Confiscation

Like the surrender procedure, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement sets out rules for the freezing and confiscation that replace “international cooperation” Chapters of the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism of 2005 (“the 2005 Convention”) and the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime of 1990 (“the 1990 Convention”). Article LAW.CONFISC.2 [Definitions] of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement replaces the corresponding definitions in Article 1 of the 2005 Convention and Article 1 of the 1990 Convention.

The Trade and Confiscation Agreement foresees the definitions, obligations to assist, requests for bank accounts and safe deposit boxes, requests on information on banking transactions, requests for monitoring banking transactions, spontaneous information, provisional measures as well as detailed rules for confiscation procedure.

The EJN Secretariat will soon publish the relevant forms in all EU official languages. Please see the full text of Trade and Cooperation Agreement in the special section of the Judicial Library.

 

 

 

 

 

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