|Author (Corporate)||European Commission: DG Justice|
|Series Details||COM (2023) 185|
Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 5 April 2023, concerning the transfer of criminal proceedings between Member States of the European Union (EU).
Facing the expansion of cross-border crime, criminal justice in the EU has increasingly been confronted with situations where several Member States have jurisdiction to prosecute the same case. This is particularly true for crimes perpetrated by organised criminal groups. Multiple prosecutions of the same cases pose challenges in terms of their coordination and effectiveness, be detrimental to the rights and interests of individuals, and lead to duplication of activities.
While the transfer of criminal proceedings may be necessary in a number of situations, existing measures at EU level do not regulate this form of cooperation. Member States rely on a variety of legal instruments - a majority of them use the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, under which transfers are largely unregulated and rely on national laws. The European Convention on the Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters from 1972 was only ratified by 13 Member States. Countries signed an Agreement on the transfer of proceedings in criminal matters in 1990, but it never entered into force. In 2009, the Council Presidency introduced an initiative on behalf of 16 Member States, but negotiations were later discontinued when the Lisbon Treaty entered into force.
In 2019, the Council Presidency suggested to further explore the need for legislation on the transfer of criminal proceedings. In its conclusions of December 2020, the Council invited the European Commission to consider the feasibility of such an instrument. In the absence of a common legal framework and due to differences among Member States' national criminal justice systems, transfers have been facing several legal and practical issues. This draft law seeks to address them establishing an instrument on the transfer of criminal proceedings. It aims to improve the efficient and proper administration of justice in the EU, improve the respect of fundamental rights in the process, improve efficiency and legal certainty, and enable transfers of criminal proceedings.
The proposed Regulation was adopted by the European Commission on 5 April 2023.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|
|Subject Tags||Criminal Law, Police | Judicial Cooperation|
|International Organisations||European Union [EU]|