The Council adopted the negotiating mandates to the Commision to engage in international negotiations to improve cross-border access to electronic evidence in criminal investigations. The first instrument would be an agreement with the United States and the second one the Second Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe “Budapest” Convention on Cybercrime. Both are aimed at facilitating access to e-evidence, for example emails located in the cloud, to be used in criminal investigations and proceedings. If these are concluded, they wil complement the EU-level framework for access to e-evidence which is currently being negotiated.
Earlier this year, the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) (of which all three Law Societies are members) publlished its Recommendations on the then upcoming negotiations. It argued that the Commission should postpone the negotiations with the U.S. and the Council of Europe until the legislative process concerning the Regulation on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters is finalised.