16th March 2014

Council introduces new European Investigation Order

The Council adopted on 14 March a directive introducing a European Investigation Order. The directive provides framework for carrying out of investigative measures by a Member State on request of another Member State, such as witness interviewing, obtaining of evidence or information, interception of telecommunications or monitoring of bank accounts. The new directive introduces into the legal code a new universal measure based on automatic mutual recognition. The EIO can be issued by a court or similar authority of a criminal process upon request by the defendant or his lawyer if a similar domestic measure would be applicable under national legislation and if it is proportionate for the purpose of the proceedings. If requested, the Member State must acknowledge receipt of an EIO within 30 days and carry out the investigative measure within 90 days. If a Member State is requested by the EIO, it can only refuse to comply with it in case of national security interests or in case some immunity exists under national laws. As a general rule, the Member States carrying out the investigative measures under the EIO covers the cost of such measures. The directive had been proposed by a group of Member States, it has already been endorsed by the European Parliament and, upon adoption by the Council, will enter into force. Member States will have 3 years to transpose it into their respective national legislations. Denmark and Ireland will not participate due to their opt-outs.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic