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Macedonian and Serbian Ministries of Justice improve legal cooperation in criminal matters

On 8th and 9th of July 2021, representatives of the Department for International Legal Cooperation of the Macedonian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) visited their Serbian counterparts in order to deepen their bilateral cooperation in criminal matters. Representatives of the Serbian MoJ hosted the meeting and presented the Serbian perspective  together with their colleagues from the Serbian Public Prosecution Service and the Ministry of Interior. This exchange was supported by CSC WB in its endeavour to support bilateral legal cooperation in criminal matters of WB countries to strengthen regional cooperation against organised crime.

The discussion topics were largely based on the implementation of the Bilateral agreement of international cooperation in criminal matters between the 2 countries. The participants discussed in detail about specific aspects of bilateral legal cooperation such as their organizational set-up; the issues of direct cooperation in criminal matters and that of reciprocity; the method of keeping criminal records and bilateral agreements with 3rd countries. Serbian colleagues elaborated on their experience with establishment and operation of Joint Investigation Teams (JITs). Both delegations agreed that JITs are useful but a not sufficiently used tool of international cooperation in joint cross-border investigations. Moreover, representatives of both countries exchanged on their lessons learnt and good practices of cooperation with and through the European Judicial Network (EJN) and the EUROJUST. Lastly, both parties agreed that this meeting will considerably strengthen their mutual cooperation and joint efforts in the fight against international organized crime.

The CSC WB project will continue to support the beneficiary countries’ bilateral legal cooperation by supporting the signature and implementation of their bilateral agreements on legal cooperation in criminal matters and empowering them to increase the use of direct cooperation and JITs while making use of the instruments EU judiciary networks and agencies can offer to the region.

Photo Source: CSC WB