Agreement on the Cooperation in the Area of the Witness Protection


Published: 0000-00-00

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AGREEMENT
 
ON THE COOPERATION IN TILE AREA OF WITNESS PROTECTION
 
 
 
 
The Contracting Parties to this Agreement,
 
RECALLING the cooperation between  the  competent Ministries of  the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic and the Republic of Slovenia in the framework of the Salzburg Forum;
 
DESIRING to develop and enhance their cooperation in witness protection;
 
HAVING REGARD TO the best practice models developed by Europol in the area  of witness protection;
 
RECOGNIZING bilateral  and multilateral  agreements on police cooperation  concluded between the Contracting Parties;
 
HAVING REGARD TO the national legislation of the Contracting Parties and European
Union law, including regulations on personal data protection;
 
HAVING REGARD TO the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized
Crime of 2000, UNTOC;
 
RECALLING the United Nations Convention against Corruption of 2003, UNCAC; HAVING REGARD TO the relevant Council of Europe instruments;
 
-                   BEARING  IN  MINI)  the  free  movement   of  persons  in the  European Union   and the challenges thus related to the area of witness protection;
 
 
Have agreed as follows:
 
 
Articlc 1
 
The purpose of this  Agreement is to develop and enhance cooperation related to witness protection between the Contracting Parties.
 
 
Article 2
 
(1)      The national contact points of the Contracting Parties referred to in Article 10 shall  directly  cooperate  in   the  area  of  witness  protection  upon  written  request.   The competence of the national contact points shall be governed by the national legislation.
 
(2)      The cooperation  shall, in  particular, include the relocation  and protection  of persons, exchange of information, administrative, technical and logistical support and training ofthe staff of witness protection units.
 
(3)      The protected person to be relocated must have been placed under the national protection programme of the requesting Contracting Party or, in case of urgent need, it must be  presumable that this person will be taken into the national protection programme of the requesting Contracting Party, if this is foreseen under the national legislation of the requested Contracting Party. When taking  supportive measures in  connection with  the  protection of these  persons  the  national   legislation  of  the  requested  Contracting   Party   shall  apply accordingly. The person to be protected shall remain under the national protection programme of the requesting Contracting Party.
 
(4)      The requesting Contracting Party shall provide the requested Contracting Party with  all necessary information  which is relevant  to this  Contracting Party to  come to a decision.
 
(5)      Enrolling an endangered person into the national protection programme of the requesting Contracting Party shall be fully in competence of this Contracting Party. The requested Contracting Party shall not re-evaluate the reasons for the enrolment.
 
(6)      For serious reasons  and after having duly notified the requesting Contracting Party, the requested Contracting Party may cease the supportive measures. In this case,  the requesting Contracting Party shall retake the person concerned.
 
 
Article 3
 
The mutually agreed conditions for the relocation, assistance and protection of persons in  each individual case shall be set forth in a separate document concluded by the  national contact points referred to in Article 10 of the Contracting Parties involved in this individual case.  Significant changes in  the situation of  the protected person  should be  reflected in amendments or in a new separate document.
 
 
Article 4
 
Officers from the national  contact point  of one Contracting Party acting under  this Agreement within the territory of another Contracting Party shall be subject to the instructions given by the national contact point ofthe host Contracting Party.
 
 
Article S
 
(1)      For the carrying of arms, ammunition and equipment and the use of vehicles by officers from the national contact point of one Contracting Party acting under this Agreement within the territory of another  Contracting Party, the provisions of Article 19 of the Council
 
 
Decision  2008/615/JHA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of  cross-border  cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime shall apply accordingly.
 
(2)      Officers from the national contact point of one Contracting Party acting under this  Agreement within the  territory  of  another  Contracting Party may use their  arms, ammunition and equipment only in legitimate self-defence or in the defence of others.
 
(3)      In order to ensure the confidentiality of the protective measures officers  may conceal their original identities and the vehicles used.
 
(4)      If under this Agreement  and upon prior approval officers from a  requesting Contracting Party intend to act within the territory of another Contracting Party, the national contact point of the requesting Contracting Party shall provide the national contact point of the requested Contracting Party in advance with the following information:
 
- purpose of the action,
 
- identification of the officers,
 
- arms,   ammunition and equipment carried by the officers,
 
- vehicles used by the officers.
 
 
Article 6
 
Regarding protection and assistance, general rules of civil liability, criminal liability, and employment relations, the provisions of  Articles 20 to 23 of  the Council Decision
2008/615/IRA of 23 June 2008 on the stepping up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in
combating terrorism and cross-border crime shall apply accordingly.
 
 
Article 7
 
Regarding the protection  of personal data supplied by the Contracting Parties  under this   Agreement,  the  provisions  of  the  Council  Framework Decision   2008/977/JUA  of
27 November 2008 on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial   cooperation in   criminal matters  shall apply.  Each  Contracting Party shall
guarantee a level of protection of personal data in its national legislation at least equal to that resulting from the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data of 28 January 1981 and its Additional Protocol of
8 November  2001 and in doing so, shall be bound  by the principles of Recommendation No R (87) 15 of 17 September 1987 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to the Member States regulating the use of personal data in the police sector, also where data are not processed automatically.
 
 
Articlc 8
 
The Contracting Parties shall ensure the full confidentiality and physical protection of all  information  supplied by the Contracting Parties under this Agreement, by all  necessary measures  in  accordance with  their  national  legislation.  Classified information   shall  be exchanged exclusively by the national contact points ofthe Contracting Parties.
 
 
 
In individual cases, where a Contracting Party is of the opinion that the granting  of a request under this Agreement may adversely affect its national security, public order, state’s interests or national legislation, such Contracting Party may refuse cooperation in whole or in part  or make its cooperation conditional upon specified terms while complying  with  other international cooperation obligations.
 
 
Article 10
 
For the purposes of the cooperation under  this Agreement, each Contracting  Party shall  designate a national contact  point  when  depositing the instrument of  ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in accordance with Article 15 or 16. This national contact point shall be the unit running the national protection programme.
 
 
Article 11
 
(1)      The requesting Contracting  Party  shall bear the  costs  of  living or other measures requested by this  Contracting Party for the protected persons.  The requested Contracting Party shall bear the expenses for personnel and material resources for the protection ofthese persons.
 
(2)      Each Contracting Party shall bear all other costs incurred by its authorities in implementing this Agreement.
 
(3)      lii special cases, the national contact points concerned may agree in a separate document in accordance with  Article 3  on different arrangement as regards the bearing  of costs.
 
 
Article 12
 
(1)      The provisions of this  Agreement shall apply between  Member States of the European Union only in so far as they are compatible with European Union law. Should the European Union  in future introduce arrangements  affecting the scope of this  Agreement, European Union  law  shall take precedence in  applying the relevant  provisions of  this Agreement.
 
(2)      This Agreement shall not  affect rights and obligations under any existing bilateral or multilateral agreements between the Contracting Parties.
 
 
Article 13
 
Upon  request   of  either  Contracting  Party,  a joint  working  group  made  up   of representatives of the Contracting Parties shall evaluate the implementation of this Agreement and shall identi’ any need for supplements or amendments.
 
 
 
(1)       The Government  of the Republic of Slovenia shall act as Depositary of this
Agreement.
 
(2)      The Depositary  shall promptly notify the Contracting Parties of ratifications, acceptances, approvals, accessions and other statements concerning this Agreement.
 
(3)      The Depositary  shall transmit  a certified copy of  this Agreement to each signatory party and to the Secretariat of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 ofthe Charter of the United Nations.
 
 
Article 15
 
(1)      This Agreement  shall enter into force on the first  day of the second  month following the deposit ofthe second instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval between the two ratifying Contracting Parties. Concerning other Contracting Parties this  Agreement shall enter into force on the  first  day of the second month  following the  deposit of their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.
 
 
 
 
force.
 
(2)       The Depositary  shall notify all Contracting Parties of the date of entry into
 
 
 
 
 
Article 16
 
(1)       This Agreement  shall be open for accession to  all Member States of  the European Union and other States applying the Schengen aequis. The Depositary shall transmit a certified copy of the Agreement to each acceding State.
 
(2)       Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.
 
(3)      This Agreement shall enter into force for any acceding State on the first day of the second month following the deposit of its instrument of accession.
 
 
Article 17
 
(1)       This Agreement shall be concluded for an indefinite period of time.
 
(2)      Each  Contracting  Party may withdraw from this  Agreement by diplomatic channels with a written notification to the Depositary.
 
(3)      The withdrawal  shall take  effect six months from the date on which the notification was received by the Depositary.
 
(4)      If  the  national   contact  point   of  the  withdrawing  Contracting  Party   has concluded separate documents  in  accordance with Article 3, these separate documents  shall remain effective until the national contact points of the Contracting Parties concerned, have in mutual consent terminated  the  cooperation under the respective separate  document, taking filly into account the safety of the persons to be protected in these particular cases.
 
 
 
 
 
5
 
 
Done at titfn, on 24 May 2012, in a single original in the English language.
 
 
 
 
For the Republic of Austria For the Republic of Bulgaria For the Republic    Croatia
 
For the Czech Republic
 
 
 
 
7
For Hungary                  (             /
 
 
 
 
 
For Romania
 
 
 
 
 
For the Slovak Republic
 
 
 
 
 
For the Republic of Slovenia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
6
 
 
 
 
For the Republic of Poland
 
Mátraháza, 11  October 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I     hereby certify that this is a true copy of the Agreement on the Cooperation in the Area of Witness Protection, done at tii’In,   on 24 May 2012, the original of which  is deposited  in the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mihael ZupanãiO
 
Head of International Law Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Slovenia
 
 
-1°
 
 
 
 
 
10
 
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Ljubljana,    fl