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Mutual recognition of probation measures and alternative sanctions

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Mutual recognition of probation measures and alternative sanctions

The framework decision seeks to extend the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions to the implementation of non-custodial sentences.

ACT

Council Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA of 27 November 2008 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments and probation decisions with a view to the supervision of probation measures and alternative sanctions.

SUMMARY

The framework decision seeks to extend the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions to the implementation of non-custodial sentences.

WHAT DOES THIS FRAMEWORK DECISION DO?

The framework decision sets down the rules to be followed by each EU country to recognise judgments and supervise probation measures (enabling early release) and alternative sanctions (imposing alternatives to detention) issued by other EU countries. It seeks to:

increase the chances of the social reintegration of those who are sentenced by ensuring the follow-up in the EU country in which they are established of the measures imposed;

improve the protection of victims;

facilitate the application of probation measures and alternative sanctions if the offender does not live in the country of conviction.

KEY POINTS

Probation measures and alternative sanctions

The framework decision lists a number of measures that each EU country must be able to supervise (such as the need to report to the executing authority, to repair damage caused, to not visit certain places, to avoid contact with people or objects, to perform community service, etc.).

Procedures, deadlines and grounds for refusal

The judgment (or the probation decision), accompanied by a certificate, is transmitted directly by the competent authority of the country of issue to that of the country of execution.

The execution country must decide, 60 days after receipt of the judgment or the probation measures and certificate, whether it recognises the judgment or the probation measures and whether it takes responsibility for monitoring its execution; the framework decision lists some reasons why a country may refuse to recognise a judgment.

The law of the executing country applies to the supervision and application of probation measures and alternative sanctions.

The competent authority of the country of execution:

may adapt the measures when, because of their nature or their duration, they are incompatible with its national legislation. It must inform the issuing authority of any proposed adaptation and ensure that measures are as consistent as possible with those imposed by the issuing country;

is responsible for taking any subsequent decision in connection with the supervision and enforcement of the sentence: the modification of obligations, any extension of the probationary period and the revocation of the suspension.

In a report published in 2014, the Commission called on EU countries that have not already done so to rapidly take the necessary measures to implement this framework decision.

WHEN DOES THE FRAMEWORK DECISION APPLY?

The framework decision was to be implemented no later than 6 December 2011.

BACKGROUND

Each year, tens of thousands of EU citizens are prosecuted for alleged criminal offences or convicted in another EU country. Mutual recognition of judgments is the cornerstone of judicial cooperation in criminal matters within the EU.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2008/947/JHA

16.12.2008

6.12.2011

OJ L 337, 16.12.2008, pp. 102-122

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA

28.3.2009

28.3.2011

OJ L 81, 27.3.2009, pp. 24-36

RELATED ACTS

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation by the Member States of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA on the mutual recognition of judicial decisions on custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty, on probation decisions and alternative sanctions and on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention (COM(2014) 57 final of 5 February 2014 - not published in the Official Journal).

Last updated: 03.03.2015

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