The European Investigation Order

The European Investigation Order (“EIO”) has its origin in Directive 2014/41 / EU, of April 3rd, of the European Parliament and of the Council (SP / LEG / 14437) and was born with the aim of establishing itself as the only instrument cross-border regarding criminal law for obtaining evidence in the geographical area of ​​the European Union. This Directive has just been transposed into spanish national legal system through Law 3/2018, of June 11 (SP / LEG / 24246), which, in turn, has come to modify Law 23/2014, of 20 of November, of Mutual Recognition of Criminal Resolutions in the European Union (SP / LEG / 16100), in which Title X (arts. 186 to 223) regulates this instrument - as of July 2, 2018, when it enters into force -, replacing the hitherto in force "European Evidence Warrant".


The EIO is configured as a criminal resolution issued by the competent authority of a State of the European Union (“State of issue”) to be carried out in another State that is also a member (“executing State”) of one or more investigative measures intended for use in criminal proceedings; or the submission of evidence or investigation proceedings that are already in the power of the competent authority of the executing State.


It also extends to the realization of other specific measures such as the temporary transfer of detainees, telephone appearances, videoconferences, obtaining information from accounts or bank or financial transactions, controlled deliveries, undercover investigations, and communications intervention, each with its own Specific and detailed regulation in said Law 23/2014 and to which we are not going to refer in these brief, merely introductory annotations. The transmission of criminal records, which is governed by its specific regulations, is outside the scope of this instrument.


On the other hand, the "issuing authorities" of the EIO are the Judges and Courts that know of the criminal process in which the facts are being investigated and that have admitted the evidence and the Prosecutors in the procedures they direct, when the measure of interest does not limit fundamental rights.


The “executing authority” of the EIO is the Public Prosecutor's Office, who will receive and register it, or assume it for its recognition or execution, or, if it contains limiting measures of fundamental rights or that the issuing authority so requires, forward it to the competent Court or Tribunal.


It must be documented in a form that appears in an annex to Law 3/2018 itself, in which the following will be expressly collected: the data of the issuing authority; the object and reasons for the order; the necessary information about the person or persons affected; the description of the criminal conduct object of investigation or process and applicable Spanish criminal regulations; the description of the investigative measure or measures that are concerned and the evidence to be obtained, and the formalities, procedures and guarantees whose observance it requests to be respected by the executing State.


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