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Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

This framework decision aims to improve judicial cooperation, with a view to preventing two or more European Union (EU) countries from conducting parallel criminal proceedings against the same person and for the same facts. It establishes the framework for EU countries to exchange information and enter into direct consultations on their criminal proceedings.

ACT

Council Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA of 30 November 2009 on prevention and settlement of conflicts of exercise of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings.

SUMMARY

This framework decision aims to enhance judicial cooperation between European Union (EU) countries, in order to prevent unnecessary parallel criminal proceedings concerning the same facts and the same person.

The framework decision lays out the procedure whereby competent national authorities shall contact each other when they have reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country. It also establishes the framework for these authorities to enter into direct consultations when parallel proceedings exist, in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings.

Exchange of information

If the competent authority of an EU country has reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country, it must seek confirmation on the existence of such parallel proceedings from the competent authority of that country. The contacted authority must reply without undue delay or within the deadline set by the contacting authority.

With its request, the contacting authority must submit at least the following information:

  • contact details of the competent authority;
  • a description of the facts and circumstances concerning the criminal proceedings;
  • all relevant details about the suspected or accused person and possible victims;
  • the stage of the criminal proceedings;
  • where applicable, information concerning provisional detention or custody of the suspected or accused person.

In its response, the contacted authority must indicate whether criminal proceedings are or have been conducted in its country concerning some or all of the same facts and the same persons as those in the criminal proceedings in the country of the contacting authority. If this is the case, the contacted authority must also provide its contact details as well as the stage of the proceedings or the nature of the final decision.

Direct consultations

If parallel proceedings exist, the relevant authorities shall enter into direct consultations in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings. This may lead to the concentration of the proceedings in one EU country.

When the relevant authorities enter into direct consultations they must take into consideration all the facts and merits of the case and all other relevant factors. If no solution is found, the case shall be referred to Eurojust if appropriate and provided that it falls under its competence.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA

15.12.2009

15.6.2012

OJ L 328 of 15.12.2009

Last updated: 10.03.2010
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