Latin America / Cooperation between justice systems

Digital tool to facilitate the exchange of judicial information

29 October 2020
Webinario formulario judicial

The European Union’s EL PAcCTO programme has gone one step further in its work to strengthen international judicial cooperation. It has launched a digital tool that will promote the exchange of information between judges, prosecutors and central authorities in Latin America. And then also between them and the European Union. It is an assisted form of international cooperation that will also make it possible to shorten the work times of specialists. For example, they can request international assistance such as statements or transfers of detainees in a simple, fast and economical way.

The form has been presented to 89 representatives from 16 Latin American countries. Many of them are members of the central authorities for international cooperation. Together with them are European institutions such as  DEVCOor the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and the European Judicial Network. Representatives of COMJIB, AIAMP and the Ibero-American Judicial Summit also participated in the virtual meeting.

One more step towards more accessible justice

The tool is one more step towards achieving the objective of digitalising justice and making it more dynamic and accessible for judicial officers and for all citizens.

The co-director of EL PAcCTO, Xavier Cousquer, has acknowledged that “it is an important day because we are providing something that will allow judicial cooperation to function more fluidly and effectively. If we want to act fast against crime we need to adapt the tools we have so that the prosecution is effective,” concluded Cousquer.

For his part, the other co-director of EL PAcCTO, Juan Gama, recalled that “we need to strengthen cooperation between Latin American countries as well as between them and the European Union. Today is an important day with a journey that had a beginning and that will continue. Count on us for the implementation of the digital tool in your institutions.”

A tool to digitalise justice

The coordinator of the Cooperation between Justice Systems component, Antonio Roma, has underlined that “international judicial cooperation is a complex matter, we must adapt to the pace of organised crime and letters rogatory are not enough for us. We must change the requests for international assistance as a core in the fight against crime and the tool that we present today will help to achieve it.”

In the European Union we can find successful experiences with tools used by judicial operators. In Spain there is a tool similar to the one presented by EL PAcCTO. It is called Prontuario and it contains information and the possibility of generating letters rogatory. We also found positive experiences in the European Judicial Network. Its representative, Ianina Lipara, present at the virtual meeting, recognised that “the Judicial Network aims to generate knowledge and find information in an easy way to promote contact between authorities from different regions. With this type of tool, anyone can generate a rogatory letter and not lose essential information”.

The tool also means better management by central authorities in all countries. They benefit greatly because it allows them to establish a communication guide with the operating authorities to ask for external assistance.

Each interested country may request the implementation of the tool, which will be managed by the authorities that request it.