EU Cross-Border Gathering and Use of Evidence in Criminal Matters
The European Council set out the 2007 specific program on 'Criminal Justice' as part of the General Program on Fundamental Rights and Justice. The concrete objectives of the program include the promotion of the principle of mutual recognition and mutual trust, eliminating obstacles created by disparities between Member States judicial systems, and improving knowledge of Member States' legal and judicial systems in criminal matters, and the exchange and dissemination of good practice. As part of this program, the European Commission awarded a contract to the Institute of International Research on Criminal Policy to conduct the study. This book is the result of that study. The initial aim of the study was to obtain up-to-date information on the national laws of the EU Member States on the gathering and handling of evidence and to analyze that information in the light of recent developments in legislation governing cross-border transmission of evidence, in particular the 2008 European Evidence Warrant. In addition, it was the intention of the European Commission to initiate preparatory work on a legal instrument that would expand the scope of application of the European Evidence Warrant in order to further replace the existing regime of mutual legal assistance within the EU by a mechanism based on the mutual recognition principle. As a result, the study was broadened to also assess whether or not a mutual recognition-based EU mutual legal assistance regime is desirable and feasible. Whereas the Green Paper on obtaining evidence in criminal matters (issued in 2009 by the European Commission) raises general questions on the matter, this book provides an in-depth and full-scale overview of the current situation relating to cross-border gathering, obtaining, and admissibility of evidence in criminal matters between the EU Member States, as well as clear-cut future legal and policy options. This book is essential reading for EU policy makers, as well as judicial and law enforcement authorities throughout the EU and from a broader international context. It will be particularly appealing also to the research community and anyone involved in or taking an interest in criminal policy initiatives in the EU.
Publication Date: 7/15/2010