Digitalization of courts in the

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17 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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Digitalization of courts in the
context of mutual assistance in
criminal matters

Dr Arkadiusz Lach

Department of Criminal Procedure

University of Nicolaus Copernicus in


Definition of mutual assistance

Legal instruments of cooperation




Data and documents

Criminal records


Definition of mutual assistance

Assistance given by requested state to
requesting state, esp. in gathering of

In EU mutual assistance is to be
systematically replaced by mutual
recognition subject to minimum safeguards


Legal instruments of cooperation
in Europe

Council of Europe convention on mutual
assistance in criminal matters (1959) with
additional protocols (1978 and 2001)

Convention on mutual assistance between
Member States of EU (2000) with additional
protocol (2001)

Council framework decision on the execution in
EU of orders freezing property or evidence (2003)

Council framework decision on European
Evidence Warrant (2003 proposal)


2000 Convention (art. 10): the requested MS shall
agree to the hearing by videoconference provided
the use of the videoconference is not contrary to
the to fundamental principles of its law and on
condition that it has the technical means for
videoconferencing, such means may be made
available to it by the requesting State by mutual

Similar provision in the CoE second additional
protocol (art. 9)

Witness, expert, sometimes the accused (suspect)

Audio (telephone) conferences

2000 Convention (art. 11): if a person is on
MS territory and has to be heard as witness
or expert by judicial authorities of another

Agreement of witness or expert

Similar provision in the second additional
protocol (art. 10)

Main advantages of audio and



Immediacy principle (best evidence), not only
depositions but also examination and cross

Allow to overcome some legal obstacles
concerning admissibilty of evidence in written
form (ex. requirement of oath), esp. in very strict
jurisdictions (ex. Australia)

Witness protection (ex. anonymous and crown

Main problems with audio and

Time differences

Presence of judicial authority

Loss of transmission

Speed of tranmission

Visible to all participants

Presentation of documents and objects to
testifying person

Estimation of credibility of testifying person
(difference between audio and videoconferences)


Translating and converting voice

Pilot programmes to translate and
converting voice (voice recognition

Possibility of simoultanous translation

Obtaining documents or data

EEW: documents and data (stored)

2000 Convention: interception of communication

Access to foreign law and tools for translating

Translators to facilitate preparing warrants in the
language of exexuting state

Access to documents from case files

Passing of documents should be possible without
converting them to different format

New instrument: spontaneous exchange of

Criminal records

Framework decision on EEW (art.8): Each
Member State shall designate a central criminal
records authority to which the EEW can be
transmitted (directly or indirectly) for the purpose
of obtaining a copy of any official records

Art. 10 conditions on the use of personal data
(1981 Convention applies not 1995 directive)

Plans to establish European Criminal Registration

Means of transmission of request

2003 „freezing” FD (art. 4): a freezing order shall be transmitted by
any means capable of producing a written record under conditions
allowing the executing State to establish authenticity

2000 Convention (art. 6): in writing, or by any means capable of
producing a written record under conditions allowing the receiving MS
to establish authenticity

1959 Convention (art. 15): may be forwarded by any electronic or
other means of telecommunication provided that the requesting party is
prepared upon request, to produce at any time a written record of it and
the original. However any state may establish the conditions under
which it shall be willing to accept and execute requests received by
electronic or other means of telecommunication


Digitalization of courts shall be continued in order to make use of legal
instruments relating to mutual assistance in criminal matters

On the other hand technological progress supports and enhances
mutual assistance which is now developing very dynamically

As mutual assistance is getting decentralized digitalization is needed
also on lower levels

We are working on a common legal standard. Do we need a common
technical standard as well? (UK example
six systems with different
infrastracture, data management and applications) Interoperability
issue (CoE R (2003) 14

Exchanging or sharing information?

One of the main problems is authentification of records

Need for supervisory activities

Thank you for your attention

Questions ?