72 BOGDAN MICU
criminal matters and those adopted within the European Union,10 as well as the
Framework Decisions11 adopted for particular fields. Generally, with regard to
European Union Member States, direct cooperation between judicial entities is
promoted particularly with regard to Member States of the Schengen Area.
Subject to these general principles, the letter rogatory as a form of international
judicial assistance in criminal matters also features specific elements.
In the general regulation of article 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the
cooperation method of the letter rogatory (regardless whether it is national or
international) is used when a criminal prosecution authority or court of law has no
possibility to hear a witness, perform an investigation on site, proceed with the
seizure of items or perform any other procedural acts. Under such circumstances,
such authority can contact another criminal prosecution authority or another court
of equal rank, which has the possibility to perform activities. There are also certain
limitations with regard to the object which a letter rogatory may have, in the extent
that such forms of legal assistance cannot be represented by documents such as the
initiation of criminal proceedings, adoption of preventative measures, approval of
evidences, as well as the ordering of the other judicial orders and procedures or
In particular, article 173 of Law no. 302/2004, defines the international letter
rogatory as being the authorization granted by a judicial authority in one state to
an authority in another state, authorized to perform in its stead and behalf, some
judicial activities regarding a particular criminal lawsuit.
The subject of an international letter rogatory may consist basically in activities
specified under art. 174 of Law no. 302/2004, regardless whether Romania is a
requesting or requested state:
a) localization and identification of persons and objects; hearing of the suspect,
defendant, claimant, plaintiff, party with civil liabilities, witnesses and experts, as
well as the confrontation; search, seizure of items and documents, sequester and
special or extended confiscation; on site research and reconstruction; examinations;
submission of necessary information in a particular trial, tapping phone
conversations, examination of archive documents and specialized files together
with other such procedure documents;
b) transmission of material evidence;
c) communication of documents or files.
10 The Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between Member States of the
European Union, adopted in Bruxelles on 29 May 2000 (O.J. C 197 dated 12 July 2000); the Protocol to
the Convention on Mutual Assistance on Criminal Matters between Member States of the European
Union, dated 16 October 2001 (O.J. C326 dated 21 November 2001); the Convention for the application
of the Schengen Agreement concluded on 14 June 1985 on the incremental elimination of inspections
on common borders, signed on 19 June 1990.
11 E.g. Framework Decision dated 22 July 2003 on the execution within the European Union of
mandates for the preservation of evidence and assets (O.J. L 196 dated 2 August 2003; Framework
Decision dated 13 June 2002 on joint inspection teams (O.J. L 162 dated 20 June 2002).