Members' Research Service By / March 22, 2021

Electronic evidence in criminal matters [EU Legislation in Progress]

In December 2020, the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee adopted its reports on a pair of 2018 legislative proposals on electronic evidence in criminal matters, and mandates to start trilogue negotiations on the two proposals.

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Written by Piotr Bąkowski (2nd edition, updated on 13.09.2023).

In June 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the EU adopted two legal acts – a regulation and a directive – on electronic evidence in criminal matters. In the course of the legislative procedure, the two acts drew broad, often critical comments from data protection bodies, civil society and industry stakeholders.

The new rules will allow law enforcement and judicial authorities to directly request (or temporarily secure) electronic data needed for investigating and prosecuting crime from electronic service providers operating in the EU (wherever the data is stored). Moreover, they will impose an obligation on these service providers to appoint a legal representative for the purpose of gathering evidence and answering competent authorities’ requests. The two legal acts are part of a broader array of international efforts to improve the legal framework and address persistent legal uncertainty that affects law enforcement and private parties alike.


A: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European Production and Preservation Orders for electronic evidence in criminal matters
B: Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on the appointment of legal representatives for the purpose of gathering evidence in criminal proceedings
Committee responsible:Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)A: COM(2018) 225
Rapporteur:Birgit Sippel (S&D, Germany)B: COM(2018) 226
Shadow rapporteurs:Nuno Melo (EPP, Portugal)
Moritz Körner (Renew Europe, Germany)
Sergey Lagodinsky (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Patryk Jaki (ECR, Poland)
Annalisa Tardino (ID, Italy)
Cornelia Ernst (The Left, Germany)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD)
(Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly
Next steps expected: Regulation (EU) 2023/1543
Directive (EU) 2023/1544
OJ L 191, 28.7.2023, pp 118-190

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