What are Investigative & Operational actions?

The law allows certain investigative and operational actions during criminal proceedings and in situations where there is a pressing need to protect other legitimate interests, such as national security or protection against terrorism. Investigative and operational actions can, for example, be the seizure of electronic data in a computer or covert video surveillance.

The aim of these actions is to collect and examine private information about individuals for certain legitimate purposes. For example, this information may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings.

Legitimate aims

However, these actions must be carried out lawfully in order not to violate the human right to private life. Therefore, both investigative and operational actions must be prescribed by law and must serve legitimate purposes, such as:

  • the prevention, detection and prosecution of crime
  • the prevention of disorder and public safety
  • the protection of other persons
  • ensuring the security of the State against internal and external threats

The necessity and proportionality of these actions have to be examined as well in each particular case. 


Data can be collected covertly by an investigative or security authority (Police and Border Guard Board, Tax and Customs Board, Internal Security Service, Military Police and Information Board), furthermore data can be processed and the legaloty of the processing overseen by the Prosecutor´s Office and relevant ministries. Internal Securoty Service and Information Board are security authorities and their work is regulated in the Security Authorities Act, whereas the surveillance measures undertaken by the investigative authorities is subject to the Code of Criminal Procedure. 

Surveillance can only be conducted on the legal ground granted in the Code of Criminal Procedure and Security Authorities Act, which include:

  • a need to collect information about the preparation of a criminal offence for the purpose of detection and prevention thereof
  • the execution of a ruling on declaring a person a fugitive
  • a need to collect information in confiscation proceedings pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 161 of this Code
  • a need to collect information in a criminal proceeding about a criminal offence.

Investigative authorities carry out surveillance with the prior permission of a prosecutor or a preliminary judge, while security authorities need a prior warrant from an administrative judge.


Last updated 11/04/2024