1st annual meeting between the EJN Contact Points in the EU and the representatives of REDCOOP /AIAMP

In view of strengthening the cooperation between the EU Member States and Central and Latin America, the 1st annual meeting between the EJN Contact Points in the EU and the representatives of REDCOOP /AIAMP (American Association of Public Prosecutors’ Offices) took place on 14 January 2021, online. 

The meeting took place under the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU, Portugal being also member of the association. EJN Contact Points from 16 EU Member States participated in the meeting. 

AIAMP is composed of 22 members; it has 20 members through Central and Latin America and 2 members among the EU Member States: Portugal and Spain. The Association aims to strengthen ties of solidarity and professional development, as well as to promote international cooperation among member Public Prosecutor’s Offices and to build up common strategies that allow them to improve their institutional capacities, understood as an essential requirement to provide proper rights protection. Furthermore, AIAMP seeks to facilitate linkages and communications with non-member Public Prosecutor’s Offices in order to contribute to their institutional strengthening, while operating within the respective legal and political frameworks.

The meeting was opened by Mr Jorge Abbott Charme, Prosecutor General of Chile, current President of AIAMP. Mr Abbott Charme highlighted the importance of the interconnection of the judicial networks. International cooperation has become an essential tool for judicial cooperation since crime has no borders. Therefore, Mr Abbott Charme emphasized the value the first meeting between AIAMP and EJN for both regions, Ibero America and the EU. The close cooperation with the EJN, he said, is therefore for all practitioners within the Iberoamerica. 

Ms Joana Ferreira, Coordinator of International Judicial Cooperation in criminal matters, National Prosecutor’s Office of Portugal, EJN Contact Point for Portugal emphasized the importance of networking and getting to know each other, including with the practitioners form other regions across the world. This is the key for successful international cooperation. Being a representative of a country belonging to several networks, including the EJN, Ms Ferreira shared her experience of the benefits of the synergies created through networks.   

General Secretariat of AIAMP presented the structure and the functioning of the AIAMP. She presented the member states and the mission of AIAMP. Within AIAMP there are 7 specialized networks of prosecutors depending on the crime Composed by at least one prosecutor of each member country. AIAMP Executive Committee is composed of the Presidency, General Secretariat, Regional Vice-Presidencies and IIMP.   

EJN Secretariat made the presentation of the EJN. The EJN is composed of Contact Points in the Member States designated by each Member State among central authorities in charge of international judicial cooperation and the judicial authorities or other competent authorities with specific responsibilities in the field of international judicial cooperation. The main role of the EJN Contact Points, defined by the EJN Decision as “active intermediaries”, is to facilitate judicial cooperation in criminal matters between the EU Member States, particularly in actions to combat forms of serious crime. The Secretariat also explained how the EJN functions as well the EJN cooperation with non-EU regions.

(Source of the image): AIAMP

The meeting continued with a tour de table of the representatives of each country presenting themselves and giving a short overview about the judicial cooperation system in the respective country.

The participants concluded with confirming the need of continuous cooperation as well of regular meeting between the networks. In the light of the meeting the EJN Contact Points also proposed an EJN document to be drafted about possible measures for cooperation with non-EU countries.

The cooperation of the EJN with non-EU countries and other judicial networks is based on the Explanatory Memorandum on the need for enhancing the collaboration and improving the interconnection between the European Judicial Network (EJN) and similar judicial cooperation Networks and structures in criminal matters; and the regional cooperation with 3rd countries adopted in the 41st  Plenary meeting of the EJN in Vilnius (2013). Available in: DEENESFRPTArabic and Russian and on the White Paper on the implementation of the Explanatory Memorandum and cooperation with other EJN partners adopted in the 43rd  Plenary meeting of the EJN in Rome (2014). Further steps is therefore considered necessary. 

The need for interconnection of the judicial networks and the importance of the EJN is also mentioned in the following UNODC Documents:

-Salvador Declaration on Comprehensive Strategies for Global Challenges: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Systems and Their Development in a Changing World – Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in El Salvador (2010).

-El Salvador Recommendations - Ancillary Meeting to the twelfth UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Prevention and Criminal Justice in El Salvador (2010).

-Resolution of Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on Strengthening of regional networks for international cooperation in criminal matters - Nineteenth session of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna (2010).

To find out more about the EJN cooperation outside of the EU, please consult relevant section of the EJN website.