22.10.2019 - - EJN

For the 4th time, the EJN National Correspondent, in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice and the President of the National Experts Network for International Cooperation, organised a one day meeting to inform the Belgian EJN contact points and the Experts of the National Network on the work of European Judicial Network and the state play of several European Instruments, as well as to share experience and best practices regarding cooperation.

The meeting – that was made possible through the support of the EJN Secretariat – was held in a historic and symbolic environment at the Dossin Kazerne Museum in Mechelen and chaired by the National Correspondent, the Ministry of Justice and the Head of the National network of experts.

The EJN Secretariat was represented by Remco Niggebrugge who informed the experts on the state of play of the website and consulted the practitioners about their wishes regarding the website. One of the conclusions was that there is a real need for practitioners to have more information on the cooperation between EU Member States regarding the enforcement of sentences, similar to the information already available on investigation measures in the fiches belges. International execution of penalties must be a priority, because it is the final goal of prosecutions. Without a good execution, impunity will be a non-desirable result to all the efforts done before.

We had very interesting discussions regarding the application in practice of the European Investigation Order and had the opportunity to share a lot of experience between prosecutors and investigating judges. The challenges regarding the use of the annex C led to very interesting points of view and could make a clarification by the European Commission necessary. The lack of using the annex B in Member States was also a general remark and must be put to the attention to all practitioners. A general conclusion was that the EIO as such is a good and practical instrument and a real help to improve international cooperation on a broader scale.

During short interventions the state of play of some instruments were brought to attention, even so for some upcoming instruments. Mutual recognition on probation measures, e-evidence exchange platform, new E-evidence instruments - Production and Preservation Orders (EPOC & EPOC PR), Brexit, EPPO, CJEU-case law and JITs have been brought to attention.

The end of the meeting was an open discussion with the plenary on one idea : “Your needs matter”. This round up brought to attention that there is a real need for regular meetings between experienced practitioners and a need for more specialised trainings in international cooperation.

At the end of the day participants were invited to visit the Dossin-Kazerne Museum with a guide.

The National EJN meeting was attended by almost 50 participants, including prosecutors from all the regions and from the prosecutors general offices, members of the ministry, police officers and judicial attachés.

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