Bálint Kolozsi

International cooperation in criminal matters, Joint Investigation Team involving Hungary, Germany, Romania

International cooperation in criminal matters, Joint Investigation Team involving Hungary, Germany, Romania


Aim: The constant development and extraordinary adaptability of organized crime at international level always poses new challenges for law enforcement and judicial practitioners, both domestically and internationally. There is a need for real-time, proactive responses to the challenges posed by organized crime. The cross-border cooperation mechanism in criminal matters amongst law enforcement authorities and the international legal environment in place appropriately facilitates this process. A wide range of tools for international cooperation is available to professionals for joint and coordinated police and judicial action against serious and organized crime, including the Joint Investigation Team, as an outstanding format of these tools, which is the focus of this study. As a law enforcement response to the phenomenon of cross-border crime, the study presents the evolving process of cross-border cooperation in criminal matters, also highlighting the differences between police and judicial cooperation, then elaborates the mechanism of Joint Investigation Team, as one of the outstanding and covetable cooperation form of integrated law enforcement, as the flagship product of police-to-police and judicial cooperation. The aim of the study is to give a short theoretical summary on the subject of international cooperation in criminal matters and to demonstrate the added value of the JIT, by illustrating the experience of the applicability of this form of cooperation perceived in the course of investigations.
Methodology: The conditions, requirements for setting up a joint investigation team, its legal and operational background are described in general terms, and the study also presents an up-and-running joint investigation team into trafficking in human beings, involving Hungarian-German-Romanian authorities, pointing out the main differences between international letter of request and joint investigation teams. For this reason the study builds on best practices experienced in the framework of international law enforcement cooperation, highlighting lessons learned in domestic investigations too.
Findings: The use of a joint investigation team greatly facilitates the success of those international investigations, which require complex and extensive criminal cooperation between the affected Member States.
Value: The study reinforces the need to exploit the possibilities of the JITs, as well as the need to make greater use of this form of cooperation. In addition, it covers the international evolvement of police cooperation.


law enforcement, international cooperation in criminal matters, information exchange, JITs