France and criminal law in Europe

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters within the European Union has considerably increased since the Maastricht Treaty. Updating the legal instruments introduced with the Amsterdam Treaty consisted in adding to the «convention», which requires mandatory ratification, the « decision » and, above all, the « framework decision », which is close to the « EU directive ». At the end of 2001, following the events of September 11th, negotiations and cooperation on legal matters were accelerated. This notably resulted in the political agreement to implement a European arrest warrant. During the year 2003, France, as well as its European partners, had to integrate into its own legal system the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States, and thus had to amend its own Constitution, which was unprecedented, this being an act of secondary legislation. Moreover, France had to integrate into its criminal law the new rules about Eurojust, the joint European investigation teams, aimed at simplifying mutual assistance in criminal matters and at the implementation of fast track extradition procedures. All these integrations are provided in the bill on the adjustment of justice against the evolution of criminality, which was sustained by the Ministry of the Justice, completed by the Senate and adopted by the National Assembly on November 27th, 2003. – Summary AFRI-2004