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An Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age: Refusing European Arrest Warrant on the Grounds of Right to a Fair Trial Infringements

Kiiski, Jussi

Opinnäytetyöt , Gradut ja muut tutkielmat


The formal extradition procedure was abolished among the European Union’s Member States and replaced with the surrender-based European Arrest Warrant adopted under the Framework Decision of 18 June 2002. Several persistent issues concerning the EAW and the right to a fair trial exist.

The Framework Decision does not expressly provide grounds for mandatory or even optional non-execution of a requested person if that surrender would infringe a person’s fundamental right to a fair trial. CJEU in its case law established that right to a fair trial can, under strict
conditions, lead to a non-execution of a EAW.

The CJEU has drawn inspiration from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States for the purposes of defining fundamental rights. Each of the Member States is also a signatory to the ECHR and is therefore bound to apply its rules.

The principle of mutual trust requires, save in exceptional circumstances, to consider all the other Member States to be complying with EU law and particularly with the fundamental rights recognised by EU law. The currently unclear situation concerning EAW’s non-execution would ideally be achieved by inserting express provisions in the Framework Decision, which would promote certainty of law.


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