27/02/2020 - - EJN
41st Regular meeting of the European Judicial Network in The Hague, the Netherlands, 12 February 2020

©Eurojust

The European Judicial Network held its 41st Regular meeting at the Eurojust premises.
The Croatian Presidency, Ms. Hrzina, Deputy Municipal State attorney in Zagreb, EJN National Correspondent, opened the meeting with the priorities of the Croatian Presidency for the EJN. Interoperability between judicial and police authorities, parallel investigations and the principle of ne bis in idem. The priorities also include cooperation between the EJN and the EPPO. Furthermore, high on the priority list is connecting with candidate, associated and third countries.
The agenda of the meeting was divided in three points. Judicial Cooperation, EJN Business and Projects.

Judicial Cooperation:
The EJN Contact Points were invited to share any developments in their respective countries. The tour de table included interoperability between the judiciary and police, parallel investigations, JIT’s, concentration of the proceedings and the ne bis in idem principle.
Cooperation between law enforcement authorities aims at exchanging information and subsequently, this may lead to the initiation of criminal proceedings. On one hand obtaining information for the purpose of issuing an MLA request (or EIO in the context of the EU) police cooperation is highly relevant. On the other hand many times opening a domestic investigation upon receipt of spontaneous information from another country could facilitate the sharing of information between the countries.
One issue concerned the involvement of law enforcement/ police authorities in the drafting and sending of requests at the judicial level. Also, what are the channels of communication used i.e. is information gathered through international police cooperation (in the preparation of a request for extradition, transfer of proceedings or mutual legal assistance) and finally, if there is a need for clarification when to use police cooperation and judicial cooperation. Despite many Contact Points said the cooperation is good between police and prosecution in their countries, room for improvement was observed. Problems in the countries differ by country and therefore, these issues will be addressed in the upcoming 54th EJN Plenary meeting under Croatian Presidency in June 2020.
Another topic was the EPPO. Contact Points shared their views on possible ways of cooperation between the EJN and the EPPO. Moreover, they provided information as to how their respective States are preparing for the entering into function of the EPPO.
Contact Points also had the opportunity to discuss or share any recent developments regarding Brexit.

EJN Business:
The EJN presented ongoing activities, including information regarding EJN Regional and National meetings 2020, as well as updates on the EJN website. Bearing in mind that the drafting of the 6th Report of the Activities and Management of the EJN 2019/2020 has started, it was concluded that it is particularly important that all EJN Contact Points report on their activities on regular basis using the EJN Reporting tool.

Projects:
Contact Points were informed of the latest development in the area of e-evidence, for instance the EJN support to the ongoing discussions on the new Regulation on Production and Preservation Orders and the SIRIUS project – the latter aiming at providing information on obtaining e-evidence from the US and to offer opportunities for exchange of best practices and training in this area.
Cooperation with partners was presented, with a particular mentioning of projects with Eurojust on the EIO, EAW and the Report on Allocation of Cases. An EJN Contact Point form Bosnia and Herzegovina presented the outcome of the EJN Western Balkans meeting in December 2019. Finally, the Secretariat informed about the next phase of the EuroMed project and the Council of Europe and UNODC initiatives on Interconnection of Judicial Networks.      

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