The EVIDENCE2e-CODEX journey has come to an end!

For 24 months (Feb 2018 - Feb 2020) the project went through a variety of activities and stakeholders' interactions and provided for several important results.

The project team performed an in-depth analysis of the different realities existing across EU identifying the status quo of implementation of the EIO Directive and defining barriers and gaps hampering the full enrolment of EIO. The research covered 16 jurisdictions and focused on the practical implementation and execution of the EIO, the EIO-MLA interactions, and the data protection implications, and identified relevant best practices.

The technical activities under the project focused on the standard representation of evidence metadata using the CASE ontology, the issues related to exchanging large files of evidence, and the development of the EESP application for evidence package preparation and exchange over e-CODEX.

The EVIDENCE2e-CODEX activities were carried out in close collaboration with domain stakeholders: judicial authorities (judges, public prosecutors, and investigative judges), lawyers, law enforcement authorities, court staff including administrative and ICT staff, institutional training authorities; digital forensic experts and tools’ developers; EU institutions dealing with cross-border cooperation; academia; and civil society; discussing and consulting with them all major project developments and ensuring the validation of the project results along the way.

An overview of all legal findings and technical results was provided in a designated Action Plan where three main lines of action were recommended: (a) better alignment of the legal frameworks in order to have smoother processes across EU (reflections on key legal findings); (b) continuing the work with the community towards setting standards for the exchange of e-evidence (reflections on operational realities); and (c) involving all actors concerned, including competent authorities, defence lawyers, ISPs and other private actors. In addition, specific future actions were commented with respect to:

continuously training as a recurring need, as well as the need for further training needs assessment;

better engagement and involvement of (defence) lawyers would significantly improve the overall understanding and quality of implementation of cross-border instruments; and

investigating the future developments with ISPs as a relevant next step.

Concrete actions are already in motion to secure the sustainability of the EVIDENCE2e-CODEX results:

For more information on the future technical developments of the Evidence Exchange Standard Package application, please follow the work done under the INSPECTr Project (September 2019 – August 2022).

The 'Intelligence Network & Secure Platform for Evidence Correlation and Transfer' (INSPECTr) Project is to develop a shared intelligent platform and a novel process for gathering, analyzing, prioritizing and presenting key data to help in the prediction, detection and management of crime in support of multiple agencies at local, national and international level. This data will originate from the outputs of free and commercial digital forensic tools complemented by online resource gathering.

Using both structured and unstructured data as input, the developed platform will facilitate the ingestion and homogenization of this data with increased levels of automation, allowing for interoperability between outputs from multiple data formats. Various knowledge discovery techniques will allow the investigator to visualize and bookmark important evidential material and export it to an investigative report. In addition to providing basic and advanced (cognitive) cross-correlation analysis with existing case data, this technique will aim to improve knowledge discovery across exhibit analysis within a case, between separate cases and ultimately, between interjurisdictional investigations.

INSPECTr's Work Package 2 is dedicated to the development of a Reference Framework for Standardization of Evidence Representation and Exchange (SERE), building upon the results of EVIDENCE and EVIDENCE2e-CODEX projects and the further development of the CASE language (to be used for SERE) and its application in the Reference Implementation Portal by the EC.

For more information on the EVIDENCE2e-CODEX recommendations towards further training needs assessment and continuously training on the EIO Directive implementation, please follow the work done under the TREIO project (April 2020 – March 2022).

The 'TRaining on European Investigation Order' (TREIO) Project aims to develop an all-round cross-border training on EIO implementation to foster the use and successful exchange of EIO forms and evidences across EU by focusing not only on the four main components under Directive 2014/41/EU (investigative measures, cross-border cooperation, procedures and safeguards, and data protection compliance), but also providing specific tutorial on the technical aspects and the use of the e-Evidence Exchange Digital System. TREIO will provide for training of legal professionals and court/administrative officials in the 12 piloting MSs planning to adopt the System in the 2020-2021 period, also taking into consideration the different language regimes applied by translating the content in the 11 official EU languages covered in these countries and English (12 in total).

In short, TREIO addresses the priorities of the call and the needs assessment presented above by:

Developing training content for all-round EIO implementation - from business processes and logic, through operational and legal aspects, to technical implementation and specific use of the System allowing electronic exchange of EIOs and evidences by using information technologies;

Involving all stakeholders taking part in a EIO procedure tailoring the training courses and materials to their specific needs to provide for operational efficiency and more coherent results;

Creating uniform training modules and materials with the option to customize the content to the 12 piloting jurisdictions and their specific legal frameworks;

Piloting the TREIO cross-border on-site training in English for 120 professionals (following the train-the-trainer approach) and addressing regional jurisdictional similarities – the trainings will also address the effectiveness of the training content and methodology and its adapt to national specifics, thus supporting the TREIO training content validation process;

Providing for standardized training content in 12 official EU languages adapted for online training and setting up the TREIO e-learning platform for EU-wide use;

Delivering the TREIO online training for over 1000 professionals in the 12 piloting Member States; and

Designing the TREIO Training Toolkit and guidelines for all-round EIO training adoption across EU and delivering an Action Plan for future actions on EIO training for all EU Member States.

For more information on the project, its results or the future effort of the Consortium, please get in touch with the project team.