European Judicial Cybercrime Network

European Judicial Cybercrime Network

The European Judicial Cybercrime Network (EJCN) was established in 2016 to foster contacts between practitioners specialised in countering the challenges posed by cybercrime, cyber-enabled crime and investigations in cyberspace, and to increase the efficiency of investigations and prosecutions.

The EJCN facilitates and enhances cooperation between competent judicial authorities by enabling the exchange of expertise, best practice and other relevant knowledge regarding the investigation and prosecution of cybercrime.

Eurojust is a key partner of the EJCN, especially in situations in which the Network deals with the numerous challenges related to the genuinely borderless nature of cybercrime. In addition, Eurojust hosts the regular meetings of the network, and supports the exchange of information between the EJCN’s members and other stakeholders that play a role in ensuring the rule of law in cyberspace.

Challenges

Technological breakthroughs in the past few years have brought a wealth of positive societal developments. However, criminals also exploit the speed, convenience and anonymity of the Internet to commit a diverse range of criminal activities that know no borders, either physical or virtual, cause serious harm and pose real threats to victims worldwide.

National authorities are increasingly taking measures to combat the growing threat of cybercrime in Europe. The legal frameworks and investigative powers available to prosecutors often no longer correspond to the rapidly changing technical environment surrounding this threat. Prosecutors and judges in all EU Member States are therefore often confronted with the same new legal problems and grey areas, such as the limits of access to cloud data and direct cooperation with service providers and other private parties that hold most of the electronic evidence on which criminal investigations depend.

EJCN objective

The objective of the EJCN is to help practitioners handle the challenges mentioned before through an enhanced exchange of best practice and legal expertise, including expertise in relevant national case law. First steps toward the realisation of this objective were made following the Eurojust strategic meeting on cybercrime on 20 November 2014. These steps included a brainstorming session for practitioners, held at Eurojust and initiated by the Dutch Prosecution Service, to determine whether experts from EU Member States were interested in forming a judicial prosecutor and practitioner cybercrime network at European level. In response, the European Judicial Cybercrime Network (EJCN) was established in 2016, during the Dutch EU Presidency.

In line with the Council Conclusions of 9 June 2016, Eurojust supports the network and ensures close cooperation. Within this role, Eurojust participates in the EJCN Board, hosts the regular meetings of the EJCN, and cooperates with the EJCN in the development of strategic products.