The European Investigation Order: Changing the Face of Evidence-Gathering in EU Cross-Border Cases

AuthorDaniel Mansell,Catherine Heard
Publication Date01 December 2011
DOI10.1177/203228441100200402
Date01 December 2011
SubjectAnalysis and Opinions
New Journal of Eur opean Crimina l Law, Vol. 2, Issue 4, 2011 353
ANALYSIS AND OPINIONS
THE EUROPEAN INVESTIGATION ORDER:
CHANGING THE FACE OF EVIDENCE-
GATHERING IN EU CROSS-BORDER CASES
C H and D M*
ABSTRACT
is article examine s the controversial European Investigation Orde r – a Belgium-led
Member States’ legislative initiative whereby a s ingle “mutual recognition” style
instrument will repl ace the existing “mut ual legal assistan ce” regime for cross-border
evidence-shar ing in EU Member States. e articl e charts the dicult negotiat ions on
the text so far and details the s afeguards still needed if this Directive is to oe r adequate
protection for fundamental r ights. More fundamentally, the article ask s whether a “one-
size ts all” approach to c ross-border investigations and e vidence-sharing ma kes sense
in the absence of harmonized , coherent rules on a dmissibility, data protection and
investigative procedures in an EU where equality of ar ms is not a feature of many legal
systems.
Keywords: cross-border evidence sharing; Europea n Investigation Order; mutual
recognition
1. EVIDENCESHARING AND MUTUAL RECOGNITION
In the ght against international crime, few weapons are more valuable than the
ability for law enforcement agencies to share evidence with each other quickly and
with mini mum fuss. is is particu larly important in the EU, where the relaxation of
national borders has increased t he risk of criminals evading justice by moving
between countries.  is theme of enhanced cooperat ion in the eld of evidence-
* Catherine Hea rd is the Head of Polic y and Daniel Ma nsell the Polic y Ocer for Fair Tria ls
Internationa l (“FTI”), a charity that camp aigns on behalf of those fac ing trial in a country ot her
than thei r own.

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