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Joint investigation teams

This Framework Decision provided for the possibility for Member States to set up joint investigation teams with a view to improving police cooperation. The teams consist of judicial and police authorities from at least two Member States. They are responsible for carrying out criminal investigations into specific matters for a limited period.

ACT

Council Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA on joint investigation teams.

SUMMARY

The Member States meeting in Tampere in 1999 called for joint investigation teams to be set up without delay with a view to combating trafficking in drugs and human beings, as well as terrorism. The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters adopted in May 2000 provides for the setting-up of joint investigation teams.

More and faster progress in police cooperation

In view of slow progress towards ratification of the Convention by the Member States in June 2002, the Council adopted this Framework Decision on joint investigation teams, which the Member States were to implement by 1 January 2003.

Setting up joint investigation teams

In order to carry out criminal investigations in Member States which necessitate coordinated and concerted action, at least two Member States may set up a joint investigation team. To that end, the competent authorities of the relevant Member States enter into an agreement determining the procedures to be followed by the team. The joint team must be set up for:

  • a specific purpose; and
  • a limited period (which may be renewed with the agreement of all the parties involved).

The Member States that set up the team will decide on its composition, purpose and duration. They may also allow representatives of Europol and OLAF and representatives of third countries take part in the team's activities.

Members of the joint investigation team from Member States other than the Member State in which the team operates are referred to as being "seconded" to the team. They may carry out tasks in accordance with the law of the Member State where the team is operating.

With respect to offences committed by them or against them, officials from a Member State other than the Member State of operation are to be regarded as officials of the Member State of operation.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Framework Decision 2002/465/JHA20.6.20021.1.2003OJ L 162 of 20.6.2002

RELATED ACTS

Report from the Commission on national measures taken to comply with the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on Joint Investigation Teams [COM(2004) 858 final - not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission Report, adopted on 7 January 2005, takes stock of progress in the transposal of the Framework Decision, which is binding on the Member States as to the results to be achieved but leaves to the national authorities the choice of form and methods.

Last updated: 30.09.2005
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