European Council Issues Framework Decision on Joint Investigation Teams

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Sunday, September 1, 2002
Bruce Zagaris
On June 13, 2002, the Council of the European Union issued a Council Framework Decision providing for the establishment and operation of joint investigation teams to investigate trafficking in drugs and human being as well as terrorism. The Council explained that to combat international crime as effectively as possible, it decided to adopt a specific legally binding instrument on joint investigation teams at the level of the EU which should apply to joint investigations into trafficking in drugs and human beings as well as terrorism. EU Members that establish a team should decide on its composition, purpose and duration. Such EU Members can, where possible and in accordance with applicable laws, allow persons not representing EU competent authorities to participate (e.g., representatives of Europol, the Commission (OLAF) or representatives of non EU Members, including U.S. law enforcement authorities). EU Members must take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of the Framework Decision by January 1, 2003 and must transmit to the General Secretariat of the Council and the Commission the text of any provisions transposing into their national law the obligations imposed on them under the Framework Decision.