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Magistrat de Liaison: A Pioneer in the International Co-operation (De Magistrat de Liaison: Een Pionier in de Internationale Samenwerking)

NCJ Number
Justitiele verkenningen Volume: 27 Issue: 2 Dated: 2001 Pages: 56-67
P. C. Kortenhorst; P. A.M. Verrest
Date Published
13 pages
This article explains the role and use in Europe of magistrats de liaison, who are either public prosecutors or judges sent by their own country to the justice department of another country to facilitate international cooperation.
The work of a magistrat de liaison consists of a wide variety of activities, mostly situated in the fields of mutual aid in criminal cases, criminal investigations, and extradition. However, magistrats de liaison also take part in international negotiations and also provide both the host country and the justice department of their own country with accurate information. The magistrat de liaison is in a privileged position to detect problems in the areas of international justice cooperation. Problems in cooperation between the criminal justice systems of France and the Netherlands result mainly from a lack of communication between investigative authorities. Poor knowledge of foreign law and of comparative law techniques also may lead to misunderstandings, as do uncertainty about the status of international treaties and procedures and a lack of trust in each other’s criminal policies. Although future developments such as the creation of Eurojust may enter directly into the field of activities of the magistrat de liaison, it seems to be an established fact that the presence of a justice representative in a foreign country is important. Footnotes (Publisher summary modified)