The Framework Decision of the European Evidence Warrant (EEW) is an instrument that is intended to further improve judicial co-operation by applying the principle of mutual recognition to a judicial decision for the purpose of obtaining objects, documents and data for use in proceedings in criminal matters in different Member States. The EEW sets in place mutual legal assistance procedures in two phases, the first phase mainly deals with pre-existing evidence, whereas phase two will cover evidence gathering including the taking of witness statements. During the interim period the EEW and mutual legal assistance procedures will run in parallel. The draft proposal in many ways shares the characteristics of the European Arrest Warrant and the objective is to streamline and speed up the process by which evidence is transferred to another Member State.

The latest version of the text available on the Council website and appears to be the formal version following linguistic checks; however there does not appear to be any substantive changes since Autumn 2007. We understand that the text is due to be finalised and formally adopted by the end of the year.
Therefore we are about to embark on the next phase in the EEW, the implementation international legislation by 2009. The ECBA are keen to assist and encourage Bar Associations throughout Europe to engage with the national legislators to identify potential problems in the new system and to ensure that procedural safeguards are considered and incorporated in the implementing legislation. In particular, the EEW does not specify that the mechanism should be available for use by the defence or accused with this being left as an option for each Member State to decide.

The Council Framework Decision 2008/978/JHA of 18 December 2008 on on the European evidence warrant for the purpose of obtaining objects, documents and data for use in proceedings in criminal matters.
Please click here for the Framework Decision.

George Gebbie Scottish advocate and member of the European Criminal Bar Association’s cross-border evidence working group, spoke at the Law Society’s Criminal Justice Conference on the subject of the EU evidence exchange warning.
Please read more by clicking on following link: Law Society Gazette.

As presented by Louise Hodges at the ECBA conference in Amsterdam.

Current version of the European Evidence Warrant

Paper drafted for a meeting with the Home Office in the UK in September 2007
Ms Louise Hodges.

The European Evidence Warrant: An Introduction
As presented by Gavin Irwin at the ECBA conference in Potsdam.

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