25/11/2016 - - EJN
47th Plenary Meeting of the European Judicial Network under the Slovak Republic EU Presidency

The 47th Plenary of the European Judicial Network (EJN) took place from 21 to 23 November in Bratislava under the Slovak Republic EU Presidency.

The meeting gathered more than 130 participants: local authorities from Slovakia, 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 victims’ rights, particularly in relation to terrorist attacks and electronic evidence. The Plenary opened on Tuesday morning with remarks by Ms Monika Jankovská, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, Ms Stanislava Juríčeková, EJN National Correspondent for the Slovak Republic and Mr Ola Löfgren, Secretary to the EJN, who welcomed the participants and outlined some of the important issues the 47th EJN Plenary would be addressing. During the meeting two main topics were discussed victims’ rights and obtaining electronic evidence:

Victims’ Rights: minimum standards, support and protection of victims of crime

The presentations focused on victims’ access to justice, latest developments in EU legislation in this area and an introduction to the European Network on Victims’ Rights. Mr Thomas Lamiroy, EJN National Correspondent for Belgium, highlighted lessons learned and the role of the EJN during the criminal investigation following the terrorist attacks in Brussels in March 2016.

Obtaining Electronic Evidence

Mr Branislav Boháčik, Prosecutor at the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Slovak Republic presented the European Judicial Network for Cybercrime and its relations with the EJN. This was followed by a presentation on how to obtain electronic evidence from the U.S. by Mr Kenneth Harris, acting Deputy Director at the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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

  • Workshop I: Complementarity between the EJN and the European Network on Victims’ Rights
  • Workshop II: The role of the EJN in the application of the Victim’s Directive - A focus on Cases involving Terrorist Attacks
  • Workshop III: Electronic Evidence

During the following day, the workshop rapporteurs presented the outcome of the workshops to the Plenary.

The EJN Secretariat informed the EJN about the EJN priorities for the coming six months, The EJN work programmes for the coming years and ongoing projects, including the launch of the new Compendium, the reorganisation of the Judicial Library, and a 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. Ms Nina Chlapečková, General State Counsellor at the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic, provided a presentation on the main aspects of judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the Slovak Republic.

The Plenary was concluded with an intervention by Ms Ann Marie Cutajar, representative of the upcoming Maltese Presidency inviting all participants to Malta for the 48th EJN Plenary that will focus on the first experiences of the European Investigation Order, electronic evidence and money laundering.

The 47th Plenary of the EJN was very much appreciated. It offered the participants the opportunity to discuss important topics, such as synergies with the European Network on Victims’ Rights and the European Judicial Cybercrime Network. In addition, the EJN contact points not only broadened their knowledge in the respective areas, but also discussed bilaterally about solutions in ongoing criminal cases and networked with the Slovak local authorities, colleagues from other Member States, candidate and third countries.

The purpose of the EJN plenary meetings is to allow the contact points to get to know each other and exchange expe¬rience and to provide a forum for dis¬cussion 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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