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Cooperation of individuals to combat organised crime

The judicial system needs evidence in order to convict offenders. Persons who are being prosecuted or convicted sometimes agree to cooperate with the criminal courts, in particular by giving evidence. The Council passed this resolution in December 1996 to stimulate persons to enhance cooperation regarding the judicial process in the European Union in combating international organised crime.


Council Resolution 97/C 10/01 of 20 December 1996, on individuals who cooperate with the judicial process in the fight against international organised crime.


The Council calls on Member States to adopt appropriate measures to encourage individuals who participate or have participated in an association of criminals or other criminal organisation of any kind, or in organised crime offences, to cooperate with the judicial process.

For the purposes of this resolution, cooperating with the judicial process includes:

  • supplying information useful to the competent authorities for investigative and evidential purposes on:

- the composition, structure or activities of criminal organizations,

- links, including international links, with other criminal groups,

- offences which these organizations or groups have committed or might commit,

  • providing practical, concrete help to competent authorities which may contribute to depriving criminal organisations of illicit resources or of the proceeds of crime.

The Council calls on Member States to assess, in the context of the objectives set out in paragraph 1, the possibility of granting, in accordance with the general principles of their national law, benefits to individuals who break away from a criminal organization and do their best to prevent the criminal activity being carried further, or provide specific help to the police or judicial authorities to collect evidence which proves decisive in reconstructing the facts and identifying the perpetrators of the crimes or leading to their arrest;

The Council calls on Member States to provide appropriate protection measures for any individual and, where necessary, for his parents, children and other persons close to him, who, by virtue of the individual's willingness to cooperate with the judicial process, is or are likely to be exposed to serious and immediate danger; in considering such measures, Member States should have regard to the resolution of 23 November 1995.

The Council calls on Member States to facilitate judicial assistance in the fight against international organised crime in cases involving individuals cooperating with the judicial process, and in particular:

  • to observe the formalities and the procedural requirements of the requesting State when statements from individuals who cooperate with the judicial process are to be taken, even in the absence of any such provisions in the legislation of the State to which the request is addressed, save where compliance with the request for assistance would be contrary to the general principles of that State's law;
  • to take account of the guidelines laid down by the resolution of 23 November 1995;
  • to apply the provisions of paragraph C where individuals cooperate with the judicial process in another State.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Council Resolution 97/C 10/01 - - Official Journal C 10 of 11.1.1997
Last updated: 03.11.2005

See also

For further information, see the website of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security .

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