Mutual legal assistance under the EU–UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement1

AuthorBen Keith,Anna Oehmichen
DOI10.1177/2032284421995938
Date01 June 2021
Publication Date01 June 2021
SubjectAnalysis/Opinion
Analysis/Opinion
New Journal of European Criminal Law
2021, Vol. 12(2) 222232
© The Author(s) 2021
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DOI: 10.1177/2032284421995938
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Mutual legal assistance under
the EUUK Trade and
Cooperation Agreement
1
Anna Oehmichen
Knierim & Kollegen, Mainz, Germany
Ben Keith
Barrister, Andrews Hill, London, UK
Abstract
This article provides an analysis of the new provisionsintheEU-UKTradeandCooperationAgreement
(TCA) that govern Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters. While only few provisions of the European
Investigation Order are picked up by the TCA, it is mostly based on the Council of Europes European
Mutual Assistance Convention of 1959. An overview on applicable law is provided, after which a closer
look is taken at procedural aspects in general as well as specif‌ic differences between previously applicable
and new provisions. In this respect, two conditions for issuing a request are considered, namely availability
in similar domestic cases and proportionality. Grounds for refusal, provisional measures and legal
remedies also are highlighted. The authors conclude that the new provisions leave a lot of unanswered
questions and that while mutual legal assistance can continue, it will happen at reduced pace.
Keywords
Mutual legal assistance, mutual recognition, EU, UK, Brexit, Trade and Cooperation Agreement, Council of
Europes European Mutual Assistance Convention of 1959, European Investigation Order, issuing a request,
executing a request, requested State, requesting State, Arrest Warrant, Joint Investigation Teams
Introduction
On 24 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland reached an agreement in principle on the EUUK Trade and Cooperation
Agreement (TCA).
1. Trade and Cooperation Agreement betweenthe European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one
part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part, [2020] OJ L 444/14, https://eur-lex.
europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2020.444.01.0014.01.ENG> accessed 24 February 2021 (TCA).
All provisions cited in this piece without further reference belong to the TCA.

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