EU and U.S.A. Agreements on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance

The Agreements between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) on Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance for criminal matters will probably enter into force at the beginning of 2010  since they have now been ratified by all 27 member states and the US Senate (Greece being the last to sign, on 24 June). The Council Decision will be adopted in the next days once the formal exchange of the bilateral instruments of ratification is completed during the meeting of the ministerial troika with the American administration in Washington on 27 October.

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“Road map”’s overview on procedural guarantees and other proposals in the field of judicial cooperation in criminal matters sent by the Swedish Presidency

The Roadmap submitted by the Swedish Presidency “With a view to fostering protection of suspected and accused persons in criminal proceedings” (the Roadmap) on 1 July 2009 has the objective of reinforcing some fundamental rights which should be recognised to individuals involved in criminal proceedings, being them defendant, victims or witnesses. 

The European legislator has already introduced measures which recognise those rights such as:

 1       The framework decision of 15 March 2001of the council of the European Union concerning the position of the victim during criminal proceedings (act 2001),

2       The Framework decision of 13 June 2002 on European Arrest Warrant (act 2002),

3       The Framework decision of 18 December 2008 on European Arrest Warrant related to the research of proofs to be used during criminal proceedings (act 2008).

The Swedish presidency suggests some measures to reinforce the judicial proceedings, in relation to:

A) translation and interpretation;

B) information related to rights and charges;

C) legal assistance and the right to have a lawyer;

D) communication to relatives, employees and consular authorities;

E) special protection to vulnerable individuals;

F) green book on the right of reassessment of the reasons for detention.

Leda Bargiotti