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Joint Investigation Teams (JITs)

Legal framework

The EU legal framework for setting up JITs between Member States can be found in Article 13 of the 2000 MLA Convention as well as in Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA on joint investigation teams, which was adopted in view of the slow progress towards ratification of the MLA Convention. The Framework Decision itself will cease to have effect after the 2000 MLA Convention has entered into force in all Member States. To date, all Member States have implemented either one or both of these legal bases.

A JIT is led by a person from the Member State in which the JIT operates. Although the members of the JIT may originate from various jurisdictions, they are to carry out their duties in accordance with the national laws of the territory in which the investigation takes place.

JITs enable the direct gathering and exchange of information and evidence without the need to use traditional channels of mutual legal assistance (MLA). Information and evidence collected in accordance with the legislation of the State in which the team operates can be shared on the (sole) basis of the JIT agreement. Seconded members of the team (i.e. those originating from a State other than the one in which the JIT operates) are entitled to be present and to take part – within the limits foreseen by national legislation and/or specified by the JIT leader – in investigative measures conducted outside their State of origin.

JITs can also be set up with and between States outside of the European Union, provided that a legal basis for the creation of such JIT exists between the States involved. The legal basis can take the form of an international legal instrument, a bilateral or multilateral agreement or national legislation (e.g. article(s) in the codes of criminal procedure).

Specific information on national implementing legislation can be found in the JITs restricted area, a web platform managed by the JITs Network Secretariat to which EU judicial and law enforcement authorities can be granted access. To request access, please e-mail jitsnetworksecretariat@eurojust.europa.eu.