Project results will be beneficial for all who are engaged in cross-border crime investigation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Meaning judges, investigative judges, public prosecutors, lawyers, police, defence lawyers and academics who are all dealing with evidence gathering and investigation procedures on a daily basis, however lack the experience and knowledge when investigation and gathering of evidence is performed outside their national jurisdiction and the help of another MS is needed. The project aims to benefit judges, lawyers, public prosecutors and others of all EU Member States that have implemented (or have yet to implement) the Directive, and not only the ones involved in the project – therefore only Ireland and Denmark will not benefit fully from the results.
All the listed legal professionals are encountering more and more criminal cases with cross-border element – this is especially true for crime on terrorism, drugs, money laundering and cybercrime. All the latter are performed internationally on daily basis. Therefore, effective enforcement of EIO is of the utmost importance. Events (conferences and workshops) and written work (expert articles, monograph, guidelines, promo materials) will offer a great opportunity for researchers participating in the project to disseminate their experience and knowledge among these professionals, and allow the latter to discuss practical issues with experts. This will be beneficial for both – the researchers will consider practical perspective when preparing their expert analysis, and the legal professionals will be able to use their newly gained knowledge in actual practice. Besides our effort to reach legal professionals with our events during the course of the project, our permanent web portal will represent a database of knowledge (a multilingual website where all the relevant guidelines, expert articles, expert blogs and forums for exchange of practical information are available) which will remain available to them even after the end of the project and will therefore offer a long-term source of data for future research, better understanding, practical solutions and guidelines for the examined problem.
Because our research will consider practical dimensions of implementation of the Directive and will offer specific answers to practical issues, professionals will be able to use this information when dealing with a particular cross-border case. This will result in a more efficient use of the EIO as well as the related instruments of MLA. Our project will also contribute to the transfer of good practice from MS that have implemented the Directive more than a year ago and are (more or less) successfully executing the EIO, to the MS that just recently implemented the Directive in their national legislation or are not yet effectively using the EIO. The result of this activity will be that legal professionals will be more confident and more qualified when using the EIO. This will also result in a more effective use of EIO and in the better admissibility of evidence gathered from another MS, which still poses one of the most problematic issues of international cooperation in criminal affairs. Our combined effort will try to overcome this tremendous obstacle that the countries of EU have not yet tackled appropriately.
Therefore, the result of our project will be the wider use of the EIO, which is probably the most crucial instrument of international cooperation in criminal matters that EU has ever accepted. Transfer of good practice and overall international awareness of the EIO, which is the corner stone of our project, will help that the EIO will not share the same fate as the European Evidence Warrant, which never truly came to life. With dissemination activities the research group will contribute to the greater awareness of the importance of the EIO and of the best practices using the EIO.
EXPECTED RESULTS OF THE PROJECT:
EIO in MS is used accurately, appropriately and as effective as possible.
Legal professionals are more adept to the use of the EIO.
- Judges and public prosecutors, as they are part of the EU legal Systems, will be more aware in performing their duties.
Specialised lawyers will be better able to protect the rights of the accused when the EIO is issued.
The admissibility of Evidence gathered through the EIO is improved, as this is still a problematic topic for the MS of the EU, and with it the principle of mutual recognition and trust among MS.