Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008


Recognition and enforcement of external freezing orders.

35.— (1) The Central Authority shall, on receipt of an external freezing order, certificate (where appropriate), any other supporting or related documents and any translation, forthwith cause an application to be made to the High Court for an order (in this Part referred to as a “freezing co-operation order”) recognising the external freezing order and prohibiting any person from dealing with the property specified in the external freezing order.

(2) The application may be made ex parte and otherwise than in public and shall be accompanied by the documents mentioned in subsection (1) or copies thereof and, in the case of a designated state (other than a member state), shall be made with the consent of the Minister.

(3) An application from a member state for the enforcement of an external freezing order shall be dealt with as soon as possible and, whenever practicable, within 24 hours of receipt of the order and a duly completed certificate.

F28[(3A) An application for the enforcement of an external freezing order from the United Kingdom shall be dealt with

(a) as soon as possible, and

(b) where the designated state informs the Central Authority that there are legitimate grounds to believe that the property specified in the order will be immediately removed or destroyed, where practicable, within 96 hours of receipt of the order, the statement referred to in section 34(2)(b) and any other information required by Title XI of Part Three of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.]

(4) On an application under this section the Court may, subject to subsection (5), make a freezing co-operation order, subject to any conditions that may be specified in the order.

(5) The Court may—

(a) refuse to make a freezing co-operation order on a ground mentioned in section 3 or 46, or

(b) postpone its making on a ground mentioned in section 47.

(6) Where a request from a member state concerns an offence referred to in Article 3(2) of the F29[2003 Framework Decision] which is punishable in that state by a maximum term of imprisonment of not less than 3 years, the Court may not refuse to make a freezing co-operation order solely on the ground that the conduct constituting the offence concerned does not constitute an offence under the law of the State.

(7) Where—

(a) an external freezing order is for the protection of evidence,

(b) it is necessary to ensure that the evidence is admissible in the proceedings concerned, and

(c) for that purpose certain formalities and procedures in the enforcement of the external freezing order are expressly indicated by the issuing judicial authority,

the freezing co-operation order shall make provision for observing those formalities and procedures, unless their observance would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the law of the State.

(8) The Court shall cause notice of the freezing co-operation order to be given to any person who appears to be or is affected by it, unless the Court is satisfied that it is not reasonably possible to ascertain the person’s whereabouts.




inserted (31.01.2021) by European Union (Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) Act 2008) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 38 of 2022), reg. 6, in effect as per reg. 1(2).


Substituted (1.02.2016) by Criminal Justice (Mutual Assistance) (Amendment) Act 2015 (40/2015), s. 6, S.I. No. 11 of 2016.