Scotland's Place in Europe: security, judicial co-operation and law enforcement

Report setting out our position on the importance of maintaining a close relationship with the EU in relation to security, law enforcement and criminal justice.

Chapter Nine: Victims' Measures

93. The JHA measures are not only used by law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to bring offenders to justice. There are also measures which assist victims of crime. An example of one such measure is set out below.

European Protection Order

94. Under the European Protection Order ( EPO) victims of crime who are granted protection from their aggressors in one Member State are able to get similar protection if they decide to move to another Member State. The Directive allows measures which have been imposed to protect a victim, from, for example, gender violence, harassment, abduction, stalking or attempted murder, to extend that protection to another Member State.

95. An EPO may only be issued if the aggressor is banned by the initial country from places where the protected person resides or which the person visits, or if restrictions are imposed on contact or approaches by the aggressor to the protected person. An EPO is issued by the Member State in which the protection measure is originally made. Upon receipt of an EPO by the receiving Member State, an equivalent measure available under that Member State's domestic law is imposed. This ensures that a victim who moves from one Member State to another can secure equivalent protection.

96. While this particular measure ensures the cross-border enforceability of law it also helps to uphold victims' rights. However, if the UK is no longer party to the EPO Directive and no alternative arrangements have been negotiated on the mutual recognition of protection orders there would be no obligation on EU Member States to recognise measures adopted in Scotland. EPOs already in force could fall leaving an individual without protection.

97. The Scottish Government would want to retain access to the European Protection Order because of the protection it provides to individual victims.


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