Sofia, Bulgaria , 2010.10.27



2nd WS on Joint Investigation Teams

In the framework of the project on JITs financed by the European Commission (reference JLS/2009/JPEN/OG/729) the second Workshop on Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) was organised. The workshop was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Interior and the Prosecutor’s Offices from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and experts from PCC SEE Secretariat/DCAF (Mr. Anton Travner and Mr. Thomas Pepper), EUROPOL (Mr. Bart de Buck, Mr. Steven Ryder and Mr. Steve Harvey) and EUROJUST (Mr. Dimitar Hadzhiyski).

The participants presented the answers to the Questionnaire which was distributed at the first Workshop. After identification of the problems in completing the Questionnaire, the representatives of respective countries introduced their existing legal basis for establishing a JIT, explained how JITs are set up in their countries, presented the composition of a JIT, procedural laws applicable to JIT activities, the information management, limitations for a seconded members, the participation of third states and international organisation in the activities etc.

Experts identified the problems and deficiencies in the legislation of the Contracting Parties and made proposals for improvements of the existing legislation in order to facilitate establishing a JIT and improving the existing legal basis. In addition to that, practical aspects of setting-up a JIT were presented. The participants became acquainted with the Council Resolution on a Model Agreement for setting up a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). It was emphasised that the Agreement is not a binding legal framework, but a be comprehensive model agreement, which offers the practitioners base on best practices when establishing JITs, and is flexible so as to ensure that the competent authorities may adapt it to the particular circumstances of each case.

All the participants agreed that establishment of the JIT Network/working group shall be subject of consideration of the next Expert Working Group.

Finally, participants were prepared for the next Workshop on JITs, taking place in Vienna 23-25 November 2010. After increasing the knowledge of the practitioners on legal and practical aspects of JITs, at the third Workshop an exercise in establishing a virtual JIT will be performed.