EuroMed Justice Conference on E-evidence and Personal Data Protection

31 May – 2 June


In close coordination with the French Ministry of Justice and under the French Presidency to the EU Council, the EuroMed Justice Programme organised the “Conference on e-evidence and data protection in criminal matters in the cross-Euro-Mediterranean region”. It took place in Lyon, France, between 31th May and 2nd June.

The event reunited criminal justice practitioners and experts from South Partner Countries (SPCs), EU Member States (EU MSs), EU Agencies (Eurojust, EJN, Europol, CEPOL), DG NEAR and DG JUSTICE of the European Commission, Cyber South and SIRIUS projects and International Organisations (SELEC/SEEPAG, UN-CTED, Council of Europe).

The EuroMed Justice Group of Experts (CrimEx) and the EuroMed Justice Forum of Prosecutors‘ General identified the collection, preservation and transfer of e-evidence from one jurisdiction to another and the un-uniform data protection standards as key challenges to address efficiently cross-border crime. Moreover, the number of cases requiring police and judicial cooperation between EU MSs and SPCs, where electronic evidence is necessary to prevent, investigate or prosecute crime, is increasing every year.

The Conference in Lyon focused on the applicable legal framework and practical measures that could help judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers gather cross-border electronic evidence by applying data protection standards in international cooperation in criminal matters. The drafts of the EuroMed Justice practical tools on e-evidence, such as theDigital Evidence Manual,and the legal and gaps analysis on data protection in criminal cases and cross-Mediterranean judicial cooperation were presented by the EuroMed Justice short-term experts and debated by the participants.

The interventions of the representatives of judicial authorities to the key issues posed by the simulated case on sharing cross-border e-evidence with full respect of data protection standards, gave the opportunity for all countries to share their experience and to identify common legal solutions for several outstanding challenges posed by the cooperation between SPCs with EU MSs and EU Agencies.

EuroMed Justice (EMJ) is a capacity-building programme designed to develop a sustainable cross-regional mechanism of judicial cooperation in criminal matters between EU Member States (EU MSs), the South Partner Countries (SPCs) – Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia – and the EU Justice and Home Affairs Agencies (EU JHA Agencies). The main purpose of the programme is to strengthen international cooperation in criminal matters with due respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights.

*This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the initial positions of the Member States on this issue.