Judicial review of EPPO procedural acts and decisions: a disruptive and resilient architecture?

Crime Scene

by Luis de Lemos Triunfante, Judge-Second National Expert at Eurojust Portuguese Desk

“The creation of a European Public Prosecutor’s Office will enable us to have the missing tools: kick investigations across the Union and exchange of information in real time. The European Public Prosecutor will work together with the Deputy Prosecutors of each of the 17 participating countries and congregate national expertise by coordinating them at EU level. The objective is to create a strong, independent and effective body that develops expertise in the fight against financial crime throughout the EU. The 17 Member States concerned will now move the process forward, hoping that others will join soon. The Commission has always defended the interest of all Member States and this initiative is open to all”, Sharing sovereignty to combat financial crime – Jean-Claude Juncker.

DH-CII (Human Rights Centre for Interdisciplinary Research), in collaboration with CEDU (Centre of Studies in EU Law) and the Union of Magistrates of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, organised, on 18 May at the Law School of the University of Minho, an International Criminal Law Congress about “The new challenges of Judicial and police cooperation in the European Union and the implementation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office”.

The aim of that initiative was to bring to the discussion the main issues that lie today in judicial and police cooperation, mutual recognition, harmonization and the protection of human rights in the European Union. It also intended to analyse the challenges surrounding the implementation of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). In a special way, a critical and prospective look was taken on the Proposal for a Council Regulation establishing the EPPO under discussion, taking into account the current state of negotiations, the main aspects of substantive criminal law and substantive Criminal proceedings; the Statute and the institutional design of the EPPO (matters of institutional law) and the relations between the EPPO, Eurojust and OLAF.

One of the main issues of the EPPO is the judicial review.
Continue reading “Judicial review of EPPO procedural acts and decisions: a disruptive and resilient architecture?”

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Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union, from March 9th 2016, on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings

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by Joana Whyte, Junior Editor

On March 9th 2016, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted the Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings.

This Directive establishes rules on the presumption of innocence, burden of proof, the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate oneself, the right to be present at trial and the right to a new trial.

Such a Directive is another step towards the establishment of an Area of Freedom, Security and Justice as delimited in the Treaty of the Functioning on the European Union. This Directive was adopted after three other Directives on procedural rights in criminal matters have been adopted. The said three Directives – regarding the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings; the right to information in criminal proceedings; and the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty – are a concretization of the Resolution of the Council on a Roadmap for strengthening the procedural rights of suspected or accused persons in criminal proceedings[i].

Continue reading “Directive (EU) 2016/343 of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European Union, from March 9th 2016, on the strengthening of certain aspects of the presumption of innocence and of the right to be present at the trial in criminal proceedings”

The implementation of the Directive 2014/41/EU of 3rd April 2014 regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters: the way forward

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by Gemma Pérez Souto, Collaborating Member of CEDU

The Directive 2014/41/EU regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters was approved on 3rd April 2014[i] to avoid the current fragmented framework and set up a comprehensive system for the gathering of evidence[ii] with a cross-border dimension in the area of freedom, security and justice, based on the principle of mutual recognition but also taking into account the flexibility of the existing system of mutual legal assistance.[iii]

The European Investigation Order will replace, as from 22nd May 2017, the corresponding provisions of International Conventions, Framework Decisions or Directives applicable between the Member States bound by this Directive referred to in Article 34 EIO. One of the key aspects of the new Directive relies on this question, as this instrument will replace in the future the traditional system of mutual legal assistance[iv] concerning obtaining evidence.[v]

In accordance with Article 1 EIO, a European Investigation Order is a judicial decision which has been issued or validated by a judicial authority of a Member State[vi] to have one or several specific measure (s) carried out in another Member State to obtain evidence[vii] in accordance with this Directive.[viii] With the adoption of the EIO Directive, the European Union shows that is determined to achieve a sort of ‘European Evidence Law’[ix] flexible and effective at the same time, in order to not only obtain evidence previously in possession of the authorities of another Member State (s), but also to carry out investigative measure (s) with a view to gathering evidence.

Continue reading “The implementation of the Directive 2014/41/EU of 3rd April 2014 regarding the European Investigation Order (EIO) in criminal matters: the way forward”