The European Judicial Network (EJN) in criminal matters set up a European Judicial Atlas in order to facilitate the work of legal practitioners in the practical implementation of requests for mutual legal assistance between the Member States. The Atlas allows for the identification of the local competent authority that can receive a request for mutual legal assistance and provides a fast and efficient channel for the direct transmission of requests.
The European Judicial Atlas on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, also known as the Atlas, is a dynamic IT tool which provides details of the competent authorities responsible for implementing requests for judicial cooperation and which simultaneously takes into account various types of data: geographic area, judicial organisation, type of crime, type of measure required and the applicable international instruments.
The Atlas is part of the EJN website and is managed by the EJN Secretariat. The actual content is inserted by so-called 'EJN Tools Correspondents'; special EJN Contact Points that have responsibility for maintaining the information on the EJN site insofar as it concerns their Member State. By giving it a flexible back-office (IT management tool) the Atlas is useful to present the data of the very different legal systems of the Member States.
The Atlas is put at the disposal of judicial authorities needing assistance from a judicial authority in another Member State. Although the Atlas is hosted on the EJN site and maintained by the EJN Secretariat, the EJN is not involved in the request, it merely handles the tool to set up the direct contact between two or more judicial authorities. The user-friendly interface ensures that a requesting authority can easily find the competent authority in the requested Member State without having detailed knowledge of the legal system of that Member State.
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