Eurojust has today published a note for judicial practitioners on future cooperation with the United Kingdom. It is intended to provide practitioners with up-to-date and readily usable information on judicial cooperation with the UK and to contribute to ensuring business continuity despite a changing legal landscape.
The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) brings in, among other things, new provisions concerning judicial cooperation in criminal matters. With the transition from the ‘old’ regime to the ‘new’ regime likely to raise questions among practitioners, the Agency has prepared the note, which was approved by the College of Eurojust.
The main aim of the note is to give a simple, brief and immediate response to the questions and needs of competent authorities in these first stages. The main themes treated are surrender, mutual legal assistance, exchange of criminal record information, and freezing and confiscation. Information on the transmission of personal data to the UK is also provided.
As of 1 January 2021, in principle, EU legal instruments will no longer apply between the EU and the UK – please see the infographic for a full overview. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, exceptions are made for ongoing judicial cooperation proceedings in criminal matters, if the request was received before the end of the transition period agreed with the UK authorities, i.e. 31 December 2020. The Note therefore also aims to provide an overview of the ‘old’ regime, the ‘transitional’ regime, and the ‘new’ regime, highlighting the main features of the latter.
Negotiations are ongoing on the conclusion of a working agreement between Eurojust and the UK authorities as foreseen in the TCA on the modalities of cooperation. The appointment of the first ever British Liaison Prosecutor and her team at Eurojust by the UK authorities as of 1 January 2021 already guarantees operational continuity.
Currently ten countries have posted Liaison Prosecutors at the Agency. Based on a cooperation agreement with the respective countries, the Liaison Prosecutors at Eurojust’s headquarters in The Hague ensure smooth cross-border judicial cooperation with EU Member States and other third States at Eurojust.