Exchange of Criminal Records under Multilateral International Conventions

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Saturday, April 1, 2006
Bruce Zagaris
On November 21, 2005, the Council of the European Union adopted a decision on the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record. This Decision supplements and facilitates the existing mechanisms for the transmission of information on convictions based on existing conventions. In particular, the provisions concerning requests for information extracted from the criminal record do not replace the possibility available to the judicial authorities of transmitting information concerning criminal records direct to each other under Article 6 para. 1 ("Transmission of requests for mutual assistance") of the Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters between the Member States of the European Union established by Council Act of 29 May 2000. According to this provision, requests for mutual assistance shall be made in writing, or by any means capable of producing a written record under conditions allowing the receiving Member State to establish authenticity. Such requests shall be made directly between judicial authorities with territorial competence for initiating and executing them, and shall be returned through the same channels unless otherwise specified in article 6 … [more]