Legislation in the Fight against Terrorism and Cross Border Crime

The Minister for Health, Care and Justice, Neil F. Costa, has published legislation implementing three European Council Decisions, which seek to intensify cross-border cooperation between Member States, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime. 

These European Council Decisions are commonly referred to as the Prüm Decisions, as they adopted some of the 2005 Prüm Convention measures into EU Law. The first two of these decisions are:

• Council Decision 2008/615/JHA (on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime), and

• Council Decision 2008/616/JHA (on the implementation of the above measures on stepping up of cross-border cooperation regarding terrorism and cross-border crime).

The enhanced cross-border cooperation measures are achieved through specialised equipment that facilitates the remote automated and digital sharing of fingerprints, DNA data and vehicle data. Since May 2016, the UK has been involved in trials with some EU Member States in order to set up the required IT infrastructure. Gibraltar has also, for some time now, been taking the necessary steps to connect via the United Kingdom in order to participate in this testing process.

Further and importantly, the third Council Framework Decision 2009/905/JHA sets the level of accreditation required for the provision of DNA profiles and fingerprints, when relying on these cross-border measures.

Commenting on the publication of the new legislation, Mr Costa stated: “These legal measures are vital in the fight against terrorism and cross-border crime. The exchange of data and police cooperation, generally, in the fight against crime cannot be underestimated, and I am sure our community will be all the safer for it. I would like to thank our excellent Government lawyers for their hard work in ensuring that this legislative architecture is now in place.”