The upgrade and modernisation of judicial cooperation and information exchange in criminal cases across the EU are crucial in light of the evolving security threat landscape and the fast pace of technological development, as acknowledged by the European Council in its Conclusions of October 2018. This need for immediate reaction and change has been further reinforced by the recent COVID-19 crisis , and its impact on judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
Many of the negative consequences of the crisis could have been avoided by having appropriate digital tools available. Following the October 2018 Conclusions, Eurojust called to create ‘Cross-Border Digital Criminal Justice’, a fast, reliable and secure IT infrastructure that would enable national prosecution authorities to interact with their counterparts, JHA agencies and EU bodies in the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) area. Following the December 2018 Justice and Home Affairs Council Conclusions, the European Commission launched the Digital Criminal Justice project. The objective of this project is to shape a vision to design and implement a host of digital measures for the cross-border cooperation in criminal matters.
This study is the first element of the Digital Criminal Justice project. Based on an online survey, country visits with national prosecutors and investigative judges as well as central authorities and stakeholder interviews with the Commission services, Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) members, the European Judicial Network (EJN) in criminal matters, JHA agencies (Eurojust, Europol, Frontex) and EU bodies (OLAF, the EPPO), as well as an Expert Group meeting with national representatives, the study team identified the needs and challenges to communicate and exchange case-related data in a digital and secure way when cooperating in cross-border cases.
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