Increasing cross-border crime has led to more and more cases where several Member States have jurisdiction to prosecute the same case.
Parallel or multiple prosecutions can be inefficient and ineffective, but also possibly detrimental to the rights of the individuals concerned as a person may not be prosecuted or punished for the same offence twice.
This proposal will therefore help prevent duplications of proceedings and avoid cases of impunity where surrender under a European Arrest Warrant is refused. Furthermore, it will help ensure that criminal proceedings are conducted in the best-placed Member State, for example, in the State where the major part of the crime occurred.
These common rules will include:
- a list of common criteria for transfer of proceedings, as well as grounds for refusing the transfer of proceedings;
- a time limit for a decision on the transfer of proceedings;
- rules on costs for translation and on the effects of the transfer of proceedings;
- obligations with respect to the rights for the suspects and accused persons, as well as victims;
- rules on the use of cross-border digital channel for communication between competent authorities.
In order to improve the efficiency of the transfer procedure, the proposed Regulation also provides for jurisdiction in specific cases. It is expected to reduce the level of fragmentation, provide greater legal certainty and eventually increase the number of successfully transferred criminal proceedings.
The proposed reform will have to be discussed and approved by the European Parliament and the Council before it enters into force.
More information: European Commission