EVIDENCE2e-CODEX organized a one-day workshop engaging the legal community (prosecutors, law enforcement, judiciary, lawyers, policy advisors, etc.) with the project achievements and goals. The event took place on 15 January in the premises of the Press Club Brussels Europe at 95 Rue Froissart, 1040 Brussels, Belgium with the kind support of our local host from the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE).

The participation of the major stakeholders in the EU arena helps EVIDENCE2e-CODEX to develop a ‘true to life’ example for a fast, secure and reliable exchange of electronic evidence between legal authorities and to promote an action plan for its EU-wide implementation. The event welcomed officials from the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, EC DG Justice and Consumers, EC DG Migration and Home Affairs, INTERPOL, EUROJUST, EUROPOL, OLAF, EDPS, EDPB, European Judicial Network, representatives of the ministries of justice of Italy, Austria, Spain, and the Netherland, the prosecuting authorities of the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Latvia, Germany, Norway, and Portugal, CCBE and the bar associations of Germany, Austria, Spain, the Czech Republic and Belgium, as well as experts from ISPs, academia and NGOs working in the fields of e-justice and judicial cooperation.

More than 60 experts gathered to discuss and network over presentations from project partners and stakeholders. The event opened with the project findings on the implementation of European Investigation Order, presented by Prof. Dr. Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici (University of Groningen). The presentation covered the most teething problems identified with respect to the EIO process, the way respondents perceived operational, technical and administrative realities and their initial experience on the implementation of Art. 1 (3).

Further on, Charlotte Anne (INTERPOL) initiated a smooth transition towards the technical part of the morning with a presentation on e-MLA project and its findings, which raised a lot of questions and discussions from the audience. The session ended with a presentation from DG Justice and Consumers’ representatives Cristian Nikolau and Djamila Djamila Ben-Miloud currently working on the development of the EC-funded e-Evidence Digital Exchange System.

Due to the lengthy discussions and the interest of the participants the EVIDENCE2e-CODEX’s presentation on the Electronic Evidence Exchange Technical Tools developed under the project was left for the end of the day.

The afternoon brought us extremely interesting discussions presented the views of the three main stakeholders’ branches – magistrates, lawyers, and private entities e.g. ISPs, on the EIO & MLA implementation.

The panel discussion on the EIO & MLA co-existence from the perspective of judges and prosecutors was chaired by Dr. Maria Angela Biasiotti (CNR-ITTIG) and included interventions from panelists: Fabrizia Bemer (Ministry of Justice, Italy), Jorge Espina and Teresa Magno (EUROJUST), Ianina Lipara (European Judicial Network), Eirik Tronnes Hansen (Prosecution, Norway), and Pedro Verdelho (General Prosecution Office, Portugal).

The second discussion introduced the perspective of the defense lawyers and was chaired by Simone Cuomo (CCBE). Their opinions on the current level of implementation and the respective prospects of further developing EIO and MLA gave James Macguill, Iain Mitchell, and Jiri Novak, representing the vision of both the Criminal Law and IT Law Committees of CCBE.

The final session discussed the EIO and MLA investigatory access to data held by private entities (e.g. ISPs) with important contributions by Lani Cossette (Microsoft), Mārcis Laiviņš (State Police, Latvia) and Laure Wagener (Vodafone).

The event was jointly organized by INTERPOL, CCBE and LIBRe Foundation with contributions of other project partners.

More information and materials can be found in the Events Section of the EVIDENCE2e-CODEX website.