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European Judicial Network - cooperation to combat crime

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European Judicial Network - cooperation to combat crime

This decision provides provisions for the continuation of the European Judicial Network (EJN), while repealing Joint Action 98/428/JHA that established it.

ACT

Council Decision 2008/976/JHA of 16 December 2008 on the European Judicial Network.

SUMMARY

This decision provides provisions for the continuation of the European Judicial Network (EJN), while repealing Joint Action 98/428/JHA that established it.

WHAT DOES THE DECISION DO?

This decision extends the functions of the EJN, sets up a telecommunications tool (secure communication channel), and clarifies the relationship between the network and Eurojust (*).

KEY POINTS

Composition of the EJN

The EJN shall be made up of one or more contact points of each European Union (EU) country. From among each country’s delegation a national correspondent and a tool correspondent, who deals with the new telecommunications channel, are designated.

Contact points work in judicial cooperation in criminal matters and must have language skills to be better able to communicate with their counterparts. Any national liaison magistrates already appointed must be linked to the EJN. The European Commission (EC) is also represented, and the EJN is administered by a secretariat.

Functions

The EJN operates to facilitate communication between the contact points, organising meetings and issuing background information.

The contact points facilitate judicial cooperation between EU countries, particularly in actions to combat serious crime, and enable appropriate communication and information sharing with contact points and judicial authorities in other EU countries.

In addition, contact points promote and participate in the organisation of training sessions, working with the European Judicial Training Network where appropriate.

Full EJN meetings, to which at least three contact points from each country are invited, are held at least three times a year, and provide a forum for discussion of judicial cooperation issues, particularly in relation to EU legislation. Discussions serve as a basis for possible legislation and improvements in international cooperation. National and tool correspondents meet at least yearly on an ad hoc basis.

Secretariat

The secretariat provides contact points with up-to-date information on national judicial and procedural systems and relevant legal texts through a website. In addition, it establishes a secure telecommunications channel for data and judicial cooperation requests.

The secretariat is funded by the budget of Eurojust, a complementary organisation enjoying a privileged relationship with the EJN based on consultation and information-sharing.

Accountability

Every 2 years the EJN reports to the European Parliament, the Council and the EC on its activities, and every 4 years the Council carries out an operational assessment of the EJN based on a joint report produced by the EJN and the EC.

BACKGROUND

The principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions in criminal matters is being implemented gradually, with increasing direct contact between judicial authorities. Because of these changes and the enlargement of the EU in 2004 and 2007, the EJN has become increasingly important.

For further information see the European Judicial Network website

WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

From 24 December 2008.

KEY TERMS

* Eurojust: the EU’s judicial cooperation unit.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 2008/976/JHA

24.12.2008

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OJ L 348 of 24.12.2008, pp. 130-134

RELATED ACTS

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the establishment of a Network for legislative cooperation between the Ministries of Justice of the European Union (Official Journal C 326 of 20.12.2008, pp. 1-2).

Last updated: 12.06.2015

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