3rd WS on Joint Investigation Teams
From 23 – 25 November in Vienna, Austria, the third Workshop on Joint Investigation Teams (JITs) took place. The Workshop was the last in the series of the workshops, organised in the framework of the project on JITs, financed by the European Commission (reference JLS/2009/JPEN/OG/729).
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 Romania, observers from Slovenian Ministry of Interior and experts from PCC SEE Secretariat/DCAF (Mr. Thomas Pepper and Mr. Stanislav Veniger), EUROPOL (Mr. Steve Harvey and Mr. Bart de Buck) and EUROJUST (Mr. Dimitar Hadzhiyski).
After gaining the legal and practical knowledge of JITs in previous workshops, the third Workshop was aimed at setting up a virtual Joint Investigation Team. The participants were divided into three work groups (Group A: Albania, Moldova and Romania; Group B: Bulgaria and Macedonia; Group C: BiH, Montenegro and Serbia), that drafted the Agreement on the establishment of a Joint Investigation Team and the Operational Action Plan. On the second day of the Workshop the groups presented their JIT agreements and discussed the problems encountered when setting-up a JIT. The experts from PCC SEE Secretariat, EUROPOL and EUROJUST analysed the agreements and action plans, highlighted the deficiencies and made proposals for their improvement.
On the last day the JIT training process was presented, Mr. Veniger presented the Draft Curriculum. Mr. Pepper made the recapitulation of the whole JIT project and presented the future JIT-activities, such as JIT-network and preparation of the recommendations regarding the establishment of JITs for the Contracting Parties. In the tour de table all the participants had the opportunity to make the comments and recommendations for the future JIT process.
The participants expressed their satisfaction with the JIT-workshops and assessed the project very favourably. They appreciated the opportunity to participate in the project and to get to know other participants from the region, which will enable them better cooperation in the future. They emphasised the need of establishing the JIT-network of the Western Balkan states and strengthening the regional cooperation in that field. All the participants agreed that they gained great knowledge on PCC SEE and JITs, especially vital was the dissemination of the PCC SEE for the judicial practitioners, since they had less knowledge of the PCC SEE as their counterparts form Ministries of Interior. They also highlighted the necessity of further education of the judicial and police practitioners in their home countries and further dissemination of the PCC SEE.