In a nutshell: the PL8051 bill represents a significant step towards institutionalizing the temporary measures implemented during the Covid-19 crisis and modernising the interaction with the courts. By integrating these measures into the Code of Criminal Procedure, Luxembourg aims to ensure the smooth functioning of criminal proceedings, by adapting to the evolving landscape of telecommunication technologies.
The bill PL8051 has recently been passed in the Luxembourgish parliament and is awaiting the second constitutional vote.
Objectives pursued by the bill
- Institutionalize the temporary measures introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Safeguard fundamental rights while enabling the efficient functioning of criminal proceedings.
- Integrate telecommunication technologies into the various stages of criminal proceedings.
- Streamline notification procedures, witness hearings, and appeals through electronic means.
- Enhance accessibility and efficiency by allowing electronic filing of appeals.
- Assistance of incarcerated Persons: The bill enables individuals deprived of liberty to be assisted by their lawyers during interrogations by judicial police officers. It allows private communication between the person and their lawyer through electronic means, ensuring confidentiality and prohibiting recordings.
- Witness Testimonies: In the context of flagrante delicto investigations, preliminary investigations, or investigations conducted under the authority of an investigating judge, witnesses may provide testimonies through audio-visual or audio telecommunication means. The testimony will be recorded and included as evidence.
- Notification of Search and Seizure Orders: The bill aims to streamline the notification process for search and seizure orders by introducing greater flexibility. This new provision allows for written notifications of such orders by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, by fax or by e-mail when deemed appropriate by the investigating judge. Thus, the natural or legal person who has been notified of the order is required to assist. Within the time limit specified in the order, he/she must inform the investigating judge or the judicial police officer designated by the latter and communicate the documents or data stored, processed or transmitted in an automated data processing or transmission system requested, or identify the seized funds or property
- Electronic Communication: The bill facilitates electronic communication in various aspects, including the notification of certain orders, appeals, and information provided by the court’s registrar. It allows for the electronic filing of appeals, eliminating the need for physical visits to the court registrar.
- European Arrest Warrant and Surrender Procedures: The bill adjusts provisions related to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. It addresses forms and deadlines for appeals, incorporating innovations introduced by the amended law of June 20, 2020.
Impact and Benefits of the bill’s provisions
- Ensures procedural continuity by integrating the exceptional measures adopted temporarily during the Covid-19 crisis into the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- Protects fundamental rights while adapting to the challenges posed by a health crisis.
- Enhances efficiency and accessibility by leveraging telecommunication technologies.
- Streamlines notification procedures, reducing administrative burdens for both judicial authorities and professionals involved.
- Facilitates electronic filing of appeals, enabling litigants to engage with the justice system remotely.
 i.e. Appeal procedures before the Council Chamber of the Court of Appeal regarding orders issued by the investigating judge or the Council Chambers of the district courts, as well as before the Court of Appeal regarding judgments rendered by the correctional chambers of the district court.