The Interplay Between the European Investigation Order and the Principle of Mutual Recognition

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Table of Contents: I. Introduction. – II. New formulas in the regime of mutual recognition in the EIO. – III. The question of defining investigative measures and having recourse to a different one. – III.1. The applicability of the corrective mechanism in other cooperation systems. – IV. An increased extent of direct communication between the issuing and the executing authorities. – IV.1. Regulating greater communication between issuing and executing authorities as a form of institutionalised distrust. – V. The fundamental rights-based refusal ground and the question of its applicability. – V.1. Making the fundamental rights-based refusal ground the norm instead of it being the exception. – VI. Conclusion.

Abstract: This Article concerns the European Investigation Order (EIO) and its relations to the principle of mutual recognition. The principle has been the engine of judicial cooperation in criminal matters between Member States of the European Union since the adoption of the Tampere conclusions in 1999. Member States rely on the principle in creating cooperation systems, thereby facilitating interaction among their criminal justice systems. Since Member States refrain from extensive criminal law harmonisation, the principle is of utmost importance. As such, a common regulatory technique was developed through which the principle is given effect in every cooperation system created so far. Although this regulatory technique was mostly followed in the directive establishing the EIO, it also introduced several novelties in the regime, notably the option to have recourse to another investigative measure, the possibility for a greater extent of communication, and the fundamental rights-based refusal ground. This Article argues that these rules make the EIO directive more protective of fundamental rights and show a new trend in the cooperation systems based on the principle of mutual recognition. In addition, while reviewing the applicability of these rules in other cooperation systems, it provides a proposal on how to apply them to enhance mutual trust between Member States through legislation.

Keywords: EIO – mutual recognition – recourse to another investigative measure – enhanced communication – fundamental rights – based refusal ground.

European Papers, Vol. 8, 2023, No 3, pp. 1575-1597
ISSN 2499-8249
- doi: 10.15166/2499-8249/731

*PhD student in law, University of Pécs,


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