Linking EVIDENCE into e-CODEX for EIO and MLA procedures in Europe

INTERPOL participated in this research project, which aimed to facilitate the exchange of electronic evidence within the European Union and to enable international cooperation in the criminal sector. Launched in February 2018, the project ended in February 2020.

The EVIDENCE2e-CODEX project worked to create a legally valid instrument to exchange digital evidence over the e-CODEX in the framework of mutual legal assistance (MLA) and European Investigative Order (EIO) procedures.

It piloted the findings of two completed EU-funded projects - EVIDENCE and e-CODEX - in real-life criminal justice cases.

Merging results

e-CODEX established a proven digital infrastructure that supports the exchange of data between legal authorities for many cross-border legal procedures in civil and criminal law.

In parallel, EVIDENCE developed an overview of the legal frameworks on the use and exchange of electronic evidence; worked on common definitions of the concept of evidence; and identified a technical standard for the exchange of electronic evidence.

INTERPOL’s participation in the project contributed to integrating the law enforcement community and their needs on the use and exchange of electronic evidence.

As a result, the EVIDENCE2e-CODEX application sought to pilot these projects’ findings in real-life criminal justice use cases with the support of participating Ministries of Justice – members of the project – to verify the developed exchange scenario and pave the way for the electronic evidence exchange in EU Member States.

Key achievements

EVIDENCE2e-CODEX achieved the following specific outputs:

  • Contribution to the fight against cybercrime and other criminal activities through enhanced international cooperation on the treatment and exchange of digital evidence in the context of EIO and MLA procedures;
  • Organization of three interactive workshops and follow-up reports to gather expert feedback and raise awareness of project findings regarding electronic evidence handling, EIO Directive transposition, MLA procedures and data protection implications;
  • Establishment of synergies with related initiatives, including e-MLA, another EU-funded project looking to develop an INTERPOL tool for the secure electronic transmission of MLA exchanges;
  • Development and implementation of the Evidence Exchange Standard Package (EESP) application, a transparent and interoperable validation tool used by forensic laboratories and law enforcement to prepare evidence packages, including data and metadata components;
  • Organization of a final project conference in Brussels (21-22 January 2020) presenting project outcomes to actors involved in the secure digital evidence transmission process. 118 professionals from 68 organizations attended the event, representing 24 member countries, EU institutions, civil society and academia.

This project was co-funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme under grant agreement n° 766468.