Minister Flanagan to publish Bill facilitating the transfer of bail supervision between EU Member States
The proposals in this Bill aim to:
- protect the rights of accused persons charged with offences abroad;
- protect victims by ensuring non-resident accused persons comply with bail conditions; and
- reduce unnecessary pre-trial detention by ensuring bail conditions can be enforced in the person’s home State.
18 July 2019
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, has announced that the Government has approved his proposals to publish the Criminal Justice (Mutual Recognition of Decisions on Supervision Measures) Bill 2019. The Bill provides for cross-border recognition of bail decisions and the monitoring of the conditions attached to such bail. When enacted it will enable a person who is before a court on a criminal charge in one member state to be granted bail and for the conditions attached to that bail to be monitored in the Member State in which the person is legally and ordinarily resident.
Minister Flanagan said: “I am pleased that Cabinet has approved the publication of this Bill which will facilitate cross-border recognition of bail conditions in EU Member States. These are important measures which protect the rights of accused persons who face charges in other Member States while ensuring victims and communities are protected through the enforcement of bail conditions.”
The Bill will implement EU Council Framework Decision 2009/829/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to decisions on supervision measures as an alternative to provisional detention. Every year thousands of EU citizens are charged with offences while temporarily abroad in other Member States. The proposals in this legislation are part of a package of measures designed to ensure that the courts have the same options open to them for dealing with non-residents as they have for residents and that the Member State criminal justice systems can recognise and enforce one another’s judgments, as EU citizens move between Member States. The proposed legislation relies on the European Arrest Warrant to ensure that where a person does not return to the state of trial voluntarily at the end of the monitoring period, he or she can be surrendered under that procedure.
The Minister added: “The presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of our criminal justice system and this measure will ensure that a person charged with an offence in another Member State does not suffer a disproportionate interference in his or her life before facing trial on those charges. These proposals allow an accused person to maintain ties with family and continue employment or education in his or her home country, while awaiting trial. By providing for the enforcement of bail conditions and return of the person for trial the Bill also puts in place the necessary protections for victims and the public.”