Policy paper

JHA opt-in and Schengen opt-out protocols

Approach to EU Justice and Home Affairs, parliamentary scrutiny, annual report, past and upcoming decisions, and the code of practice.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Code of practice on scrutiny of opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions in justice and home affairs matters

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email alternativeformats@homeoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


The UK’s participation in EU legislation on Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) is principally governed by protocols 19 and 21 to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, collectively often referred to as the Lisbon Treaty.

The background document covers:

  • an explanations of the protocols
  • the government’s approach to participation in EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) legislation
  • the scrutiny arrangements for decisions on participation in EU JHA legislation
  • the annual report to Parliament on the JHA opt-in

The decision document describes JHA (Title V) opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions taken between 1 December 2009 and the present. It lists the 83 proposals, plus those the government is currently considering and those on which a decision is expected in the next few months.

The code of practice provides guidance for government officials on the handling of parliamentary scrutiny aspects of justice and home affairs opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions. This code of practice outlines the actions government departments will take to ensure opt-in and Schengen opt-out decisions take into account the views of Parliament.

Published 11 June 2013
Last updated 20 February 2015 + show all updates
  1. 'Decisions taken' document updated.

  2. 'Decisions taken' document updated.

  3. First published.