The Criminal Justice (Mutual Recognition of Decisions on Supervision Measures) Bill 2019 has been published.
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 ordinarily resident.
Justice minister Charlie Flanagan said: “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 principle of mutual recognition of supervision measures as an alternative to detention.
Every year thousands of EU citizens are charged with offences while temporarily abroad in other Member States.
Package of measures
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.
It also means 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, they can be surrendered under that procedure.
Presumption of innocence
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.”