Joint Investigation Teams: New Polish Legislation of 2004

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Saturday, January 1, 2005
Michael Plachta
With the view of the signature and ratification of two multilateral conventions providing for the joint investigation teams, that is, the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union of 2000 and the Second Additional Protocol to the 1959 European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 2001, as well as the obligation to transpose the provisions of the Council of the European Union Framework Decision on joint investigation teams of 2002, Poland decided to amend its domestic legislation accordingly by adding new provisions to the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1997 (hereinafter CCP). Interestingly, these new provisions have been placed in Chapter 62 of the Code which deals with mutual assistance in criminal matters (the so-called judicial assistance). The new legislation was adopted on 16 April 2004. The existing Article 589 was supplemented by several new provisions, numbered as Articles 589 (b) through (f). The placement of these provisions clearly indicates that this novelty in the Polish legal system can only be considered and viewed in the context of procedural tools which may be applied after the criminal proceedings have been formally opened. It follows that joint investigation team must not be established during the operational activities of the police and other law enforcement agencies, that is, according to the Polish law, before the criminal process starts...[more]