Criminal investigation and prosecution of transnational organised crime
This chapter provides an analysis of criminal investigation and prosecution against transnational organised crime in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It begins with a brief description of the relevant law enforcement authorities in both jurisdictions. It then examines criminal investigation with a focus on the use of special investigative techniques, such as surveillance, interception of communications and covert human intelligence sources. Particular attention is given to the ways in which law enforcement officers balance the need to adhere to human rights standards whilst conducting an effective investigation. The chapter moves on to consider relevant matters related to prosecution, such as legal guidance, the provision of immunity for assisting offenders and the intimidation of witnesses, victims and informants. Having explored national law enforcement practices, the chapter provides an analysis of cross-border cooperation. In addition to formal mechanisms established through respective legislation, informal arrangements, which are often facilitated by the law enforcement agencies, will be highlighted.