Editorial 11 October 2023
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The new EU Regulation on electronic evidence in criminal proceedings not only aims to enhance cross-border access to electronic evidence but also raises concerns regarding privacy, fundamental rights, and accountability. This article focuses on three key issues.
First, it is argued that the establishment of a direct cooperation framework between the issuing state and private service providers regarding data of citizens from other Member States reinterprets Art. 82 TFEU and circumvents the traditional review and scrutiny by the judicial authorities of the enforcing state, compromising transparency and individual rights.
Second, the rules in the Regulation that eliminate the requirement of dual criminality for certain categories of electronic evidence potentially lead to the collection of data for conducts that may not be criminalized in the enforcing state. In addition, the absence of the principle of speciality allows for the unintended use of evidence acquired through cooperation.
Third, the individuals' rights to privacy and … Read more
From the AI Regulation Proposed by the Commission to the EU Co-Legislators’ Positions
In April 2021, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a Regulation to harmonise rules on artificial intelligence (AI) across the EU, including AI in the context of law enforcement. Its horizontal character raised concerns in the police community, prompting a response by some Member States arguing for a separate legal act on the use of AI by law enforcement agencies. Two controversial components that have drawn the attention of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament are remote biometric identification and emotion recognition technologies. While the Council’s general approach aligns with the Commission’s proposal to balance law enforcement and human rights protection, the European Parliament pursues a narrower approach, advocating for the prohibition of real-time remote biometric recognition and emotion inference applications. It goes without saying that the outcome of the ongoing inter-institutional negotiations (trilogue) between the EU co-legislators and the Commission is being anticipated by … Read more
Editorial Guest editorial eucrim 2-2023
Dear Readers, On 12 July 2023, after more than five years of, in part, very fraught negotiations, the European Parliament and the Council signed the so-called “e-evidence package”. This marked the turning point in the cooperation between law enforcement authorities and service providers. Criminal offences prepared and carried out exclusively offline are a thing of the past, which is why electronic evidence is becoming increasingly important for law enforcement authorities. However, e-evidence is frequently stored in another State and, until now, cross-border access to such evidence was often very burdensome, often resulting in possibly already getting lost and causing investigations… Read more
Aktuelle nationale, europa- und völkerrechtliche Entwicklungen
This article provides an overview of current national, European, and international legal efforts to regulate cross-border access to electronic evidence. At the level of the EU, it was recently decided to harmonise the legal systems of the Member States by means of regulations and directives, which is to be flanked by an agreement between the EU and the USA in the future. In addition, there are already agreements under international law, such as the Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention) of the Council of Europe. Meanwhile a future UN Cybercrime Convention is being negotiated in the UN. This article outlines these developments.Read more
Legal Framework, Procedures, and Specifics
Electronic evidence (e-evidence) is necessary and relevant with regard to many cases of serious, organised, or cross-border crime. This is also true for cases investigated by the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO). This article outlines the current legal framework, procedures, and mechanisms available to the EPPO for the collection of e-evidence in different case scenarios. It also takes into account the requirements for the protection of personal data, in particular arising in the transfer of operational data to authorities and private parties in third countries.Read more
Editorial Guest editorial eucrim 1-2023
Dear Readers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to help us in many ways. One of the promising fields in which AI can be employed is in the fight against crime, as is spotlighted by a number of contributions in this issue, e.g. on AI’s impact on anti-money-laundering regimes or on the employment of AI to prevent cross-border human trafficking. AI also shows its immense potential when applied in the field of forensic analysis, where robots equipped with advanced imaging and analysis capabilities can assist. They are not only capable of processing evidence, collecting fingerprints, analysing DNA samples, and performing… Read more