In June 2019, a Joint Note of Eurojust and the EJN on the practical application of the European Investigation Order was published.

The objective of the document is to support the work of national authorities responsible for applying EIOs. The Joint Note is not legally binding. It consists of nine (9) chapters and is 19 pages long. Content-wise it addresses identified issues related to the four main phases of the lifecycle of an EIO (the issuing phase, the transmission phase, the recognition). It tackles issues which are connected to:

  • The scope of the Directive 2014/41/EU regarding the European Investigation Order in criminal matters;
  • Content and form of the EIO;
  • Issuing and transmitting the EIO;
  • Recognition and execution of the EIO;
  • Specific investigative measures (Articles 22-31);
  • Rules of speciality;
  • EIO vs other instruments;
  • Assistance provided by Eurojust and the EJN.

There is no doubt that the document will be of great help to legal practitioners since it is translated into all official languages of the EU. It is therefore obvious that as claimed be Eurojust, “the Joint Note is an example of successful cooperation between Eurojust and the EJN in supporting judicial practitioners in the EIO application. It reflects the privileged relations of the two entities, which are based on trust and complementarity, as provided for in their legal bases.”

It should however by noted that there are many topics which are not addressed in the Joint Note, for example the issue of legal remedies, which are of vital importance for the defendant and his right of defence. The document therefore needs to be further upgraded to fully function as comprehensive guidelines for all legal practitioners (including attorneys) involved with the EIOs.

 

Jan Stajnko is a research and teaching assistant at University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Chair for Criminal and Criminal Procedural Law.

Doc. Dr. Miha Šepec is an Assistant Professor at University of Maribor, Faculty of Law, Chair for Criminal and Criminal Procedural Law.