9. Speeding up the digitalisation of criminal justice across borders

To date, many national judicial proceedings, including those that transcend borders, still take place on paper and by post. While the need for the digitalisation of the judiciary was clear long before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis was a catalyst in making ‘digital’ the default option in cross-border judicial cooperation to fight cross-border crime and terrorism.

Throughout 2020, Eurojust worked closely with the European Commission and helped identify several areas in which digital tools could give all actors in the EU security chain the opportunity to keep up with the fast pace of technological development and the rapidly evolving threat landscape. In December 2020, the Commission tabled comprehensive proposals to further enhance the digitalisation of justice systems. Several elements in the package pave the way for a major leap forward in making judicial cooperation and information exchange in criminal investigations and proceedings across the EU ‘digital-proof’ for the challenges of the 21st century:

‘Judges, lawyers, prosecutors – everyone working in the field of justice needs to stand up to the challenges of the 21st century. This includes the whole new world of artificial intelligence, which we need to explore in full respect of fundamental rights.’

Didier Reynders
European Commissioner for Justice

  • Modernisation of Eurojust’s Case Management System;

  • Creation of a task force to improve possibilities for data exchange and hit/no-hit connections between Eurojust and its partners, to help identify links between ongoing investigations and prosecutions;

  • New legislative initiatives on:

    • digital information exchange on cross-border terrorism cases, including further improvement of Eurojust’s Counter-Terrorism Register and Eurojust’s data processing framework;

    • the establishment of a joint investigation teams collaboration platform.