Pre-trial supervision – mutual recognition
Decision 2009/829/JHA — pre-trial supervision (alternative to detention)
It lets EU citizens awaiting trial in another EU country return home until their trial begins.
Their home country supervises them using non-custodial (outside prison) measures. For example, asking them to report to a police station every day.
This avoids lengthy pre-trial detention abroad.
If the suspect agrees to return home, the country of trial decides on the type of supervision. The trial country sends its decision to the home country, with a certificate. The home country has 20 working days to recognise the decision.
Sometimes, countries will not recognise a decision if:
- the crime is not an offence under national law;
- there are grounds for non-recognition (e.g. the accompanying certificate is incomplete).
For some crimes, countries must recognise decisions. These include:
being part of a criminal organisation.
If the suspect does not appear for trial, the home country can ‘surrender’ them. This means forcing them to return using a European Arrest Warrant.
Mutual recognition of pre-trial measures
Supervision measures may require someone to:
stay at a particular location;
not leave the country;
tell the authorities if they move house;
report at set times to a specific authority (e.g. the police);
not visit/live in certain places;
not contact specific people.
Council Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA of 23 October 2009 on the application, between Member States of the European Union, of the principle of mutual recognition to decisions on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention
Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA
Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation by the Member States of the Framework Decisions 2008/909/JHA, 2008/947/JHA and 2009/829/JHA on the mutual recognition of judicial decisions on custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty, on probation decisions and alternative sanctions and on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention (COM(2014) 57 final of 5 February 2014)
Commission Decision 2014/858/EU of 1 December 2014 on the notification by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of its wish to participate in acts of the Union in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon and which are not part of the Schengen acquis (OJ L 345, 1.12.2014, pp. 6-9)
Cooperation between EU countries in recovering proceeds from crime
Council Decision 2007/845/JHA on cooperation between EU countries’ Asset Recovery Offices in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related to, crime
It establishes the requirements for the setting up of national Asset Recovery Offices (AROs) in EU countries.
The purpose of AROs is to facilitate the tracing and identification of proceeds of crime which may become the subject of a freezing, seizure or confiscation order, as part of a criminal or civil investigation.
EU countries are required to establish or designate at least one ARO (maximum 2) in their territory. AROs are obliged to exchange information with each other irrespective of their status (law enforcement, judicial or administrative).
An ARO, or another authority of an EU country with similar responsibilities, may make a request for information from an ARO of another EU country for information as part of a criminal or civil investigation. The request should include details of:
the object and the reason for the request
the nature of the proceedings
the property targeted or sought and/or the natural or legal persons (people or companies) presumed to be involved.
An ARO may, without request, spontaneously exchange information which they consider necessary for the execution of tasks of the ARO of another EU country.
It has applied since 18 December 2007.
Following on from the Framework Decision, the European Commission launched an informal platform to further enhance EU cooperation and coordinate exchanges of information and best practice.
A 2011 Commission report found that although AROs are an effective tool in targeting criminals’ money, offices faced common problems particularly with regard to their capacity to access relevant financial information.
In 2014, Directive 2014/42/EU was adopted establishing minimum EU rules on both the freezing of property with a view to possible subsequent confiscation, and the confiscation of property in criminal matters. EU countries had to incorporate the directive into national law by 4 October 2015.
For more information, see ‘Confiscation and asset recovery’on the European Commission’s website.
Council Decision 2007/845/JHA of 6 December 2007 concerning cooperation between Asset Recovery Offices of the Member States in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related to, crime (OJ L 332, 18.12.2007, pp. 103-105)
Directive 2014/42/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, pp. 39-50). Corrections to Directive 2014/42/EU have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA of 22 July 2003 on the execution in the European Union of orders freezing property or evidence (OJ L 196, 2.8.2003, pp. 45-55). See consolidated version.
Council Framework Decision 2006/783/JHA of 6 October 2006 on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to confiscation orders (OJ L 328, 24.11.2006, pp. 59-78). See consolidated version.