Judicial Cooperation Agreements

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Each contracting party undertakes to bring the persons it has detained, provided they are properly informed under this agreement, before a court of another contracting party seeking access as a witness or expert, and the applicant is condemned to the costs of transporting those persons. Eurojust has signed cooperation agreements with 12 third countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Norway. Eurojust is home to liaison prosecutors from the United States, Switzerland, Norway, Ukraine and Northern Macedonia.7 Eurojust – the European Union`s Criminal Justice Cooperation Agency – was first created in the 2002/187/JAI (Eurojust decision). Its main mission is to facilitate and coordinate criminal investigations and to prosecute cross-border crime in EU member states (Member States). However, the effective prosecution of the most serious forms of cross-border crime cannot depend solely on judicial cooperation within the EU. Due to the nature of this type of offence, third countries must also be involved if they are to be investigated and prosecuted as a whole. This article describes how Eurojust, as an EU agency, can contribute to more effective judicial cooperation with non-member states, what types of assistance it can provide and on what legal basis assistance can be provided. It describes the state of development cooperation with third countries since the commissioning of Eurojust. This development must now continue within the framework of a new legal framework – the new Eurojust Regulation – the new Eurojust external relations regime, with a much greater role for the European Commission. This group is responsible for dealing with rogatory commissions and other legal acts relating to foreign jurisdictions, in accordance with the provisions of their respective treaties and conventions.

To support this implementation, there are legal instruments for judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters, bilateral and multilateral, supranational/transnational or international. The judicial authority that reviews the application for recognition in accordance with the text of this article may respect the rule of law in its own country. In addition to a purely operational function, Eurojust is also the centre of competence in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. Because of its composition, Eurojust is in a unique and privileged position to obtain first-hand information on the horizontal use of these instruments throughout the EU. The same applies to cooperation with third countries. Its national members, who represent their respective national authorities, contribute directly to the effectiveness and challenge of the application of these instruments by practitioners in all Member States. The interaction with liaison lawyers and contact points from third countries also gives it valuable feedback on the use of other instruments of judicial cooperation. c) Horizontality: the network operates without hierarchy. There is a coordinator for each of the three institutions in each country, but their role is not hierarchical, it is the operational coordination of national contact points and liaison officers.

The aim is to improve the effectiveness of international legal cooperation, without overlapping the work of other actors in the cooperation system. This coordination covers the non-operational aspects of the activities of the contact points and their relations with the general secretariat, in order to optimize relations between them. It is important to note that Eurojust can only exercise its powers in cases referred by the relevant national authorities to Eurojust.15 Criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions are still conducted by national authorities whose jurisdiction is conferred and defined by national criminal law.

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