European Judicial Network

European Judicial Network

The European Judicial Network, created in 1998, is composed of Contact Points in the Member States, designated by each Member State among central authorities in charge of international judicial cooperation and the judicial authorities or other competent authorities with specific responsibilities in the field of international judicial cooperation.

The main role of the EJN Contact Points is to facilitate judicial cooperation in criminal matters between the EU Member States, particularly in actions to combat forms of serious crime. To this end, they assist with establishing direct contacts between competent authorities and by providing legal and practical information necessary to prepare an effective request for judicial cooperation or to improve judicial cooperation in general.

The EJN website is dedicated to actors in the field of international judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The website offers e-tools required for the functioning of the network and for the facilitation of the judicial cooperation. It also contains practical information, including on the cooperation with EU candidate and associated countries and with third countries and judicial networks. EJN Contact Points, prosecutors, judges and other legal professionals will find valuable information and tools on this site.

Among the EJN Contact Points, each Member State has designated a National Correspondent, who has a coordinating role. Each Member State also has a Tool Correspondent, who ensures that the information on the EJN website is provided and updated, including the electronic tools of the EJN.

The EJN has a Secretariat located at Eurojust in The Hague, as a separate unit responsible for the administration of the EJN. The EJN Secretariat ensures the functioning and continuity of the network.

The overview of the electronic tools for the judicial cooperation available on the EJN website is provided below together with a direct link of each tool at the EJN website.

Judicial Atlas

The Judicial Atlas is a key tool for facilitating judicial cooperation in criminal matters among the EU Member States. Direct contact between the judicial authorities of the Member States is one of the cornerstones of judicial cooperation within the European Union. The Judicial Atlas assists practitioners in finding the contact details of the competent authorities in the executing/requested Member State.

The identification is different for each Member State and can depend on various aspects: the crime involved, the stage of proceedings, the legal instrument used as legal basis, etc. Geographical information is also introduced, enabling the Atlas to identify the competent authority for specific regions within the Member State. Consequently, the paths to be followed vary depending on the situation of each Member State.

The Judicial Atlas contains information on the competent authorities for all applicable EU legal instruments of judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including those giving effect to the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions. The Atlas also contains information on the competent authorities in Norway.

Judicial Library

The EJN Judicial Library is the source of information on all legal instruments applicable within the European Union relevant for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It contains the full text, amending acts and consolidated versions, forms and other information related to the EU legislative acts in this field. The Library also features a section with information on the Status of Implementation of the EU legal instruments and notifications from the EU Member States. In addition, the Library contains links to the databases of the Council of Europe and United Nations Treaties Offices.

Fiches Belges

The EJN Fiches Belges contain concise and practical information on the legal requirements in the EU Member States for various measures for judicial cooperation in criminal matters in the framework of mutual legal assistance and mutual recognition instruments.

The information in this section helps practitioners to verify the applicability of a certain measure for a specific EU Member State, what languages can be used when drafting the request, the deadlines stipulated in national legislation, and other particularities that need to be respected when issuing a request.

Compendium

The Compendium provides support for drafting requests for judicial cooperation. It guides the practitioners through the form used for the request, ensuring that all required information is inserted. The Compendium also helps the practitioner to manage translations of requests. In most cases, the request needs to be translated into a language acceptable by the requested Member State, so that the Member State is able to accept and perform/execute the request.

The Compendium is available for requests for mutual legal assistance and for several legal instruments based on the principle of mutual recognition, such as the European Arrest Warrant and the European Investigation Order. The Compendium contains several features, such as the possibility of extracting details of the executing authority from the Judicial Atlas and inserting the logo and stamp of the requesting/issuing authority.

Third States and judicial networks

The EJN's primary focus is on judicial cooperation between the EU Member States. However, the EJN has also established cooperation beyond the European Union, either via similar networks, or directly with third countries.

In the section on cooperation with third countries and judicial networks, practical information can be found on countries outside the EU and on other judicial networks established on a global scale. Contact details of Contact Persons in many of the countries can be consulted (as with the EJN Contact Points, these details are password protected).

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