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More effective extradition procedures: European arrest warrant

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More effective extradition procedures: European arrest warrant

A person who has committed a serious crime in an EU country but who lives in another can be returned to the first country to face justice quickly and with little administrative burden.

ACT

Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States - Statements made by certain Member States on the adoption of the framework decision.

SUMMARY

A person who has committed a serious crime in an EU country but who lives in another can be returned to the first country to face justice quickly and with little administrative burden.

WHAT DOES THE FRAMEWORK DECISION DO?

It improves and simplifies judicial procedures to speed up the return of people from another EU country who have committed a serious crime.

KEY POINTS

The European arrest warrant replaces the extradition system. It requires each national judicial authority to recognise and act on, with a minimum of formalities and within a set deadline, requests made by the judicial authority of another EU country. A warrant asks for a person to be handed over so that:

a criminal prosecution can be conducted;

the person can be placed in custody or detention.

The warrant applies in the following cases:

offences punishable by imprisonment or a detention order for a maximum period of at least 1 year;

where a final custodial sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences of at least 4 months.

Proportionate use of the warrant

EU countries must take the following into consideration (non-exhaustive list):

the circumstances and the gravity of the offence;

the likely sentence;

less coercive alternative measures.

When an individual is arrested, he/she must be informed of the contents of the arrest warrant.

In which cases must EU countries refuse to act on a warrant?

If an EU country has already handed down a final judgment on the person concerned for the same offence.

If the offence is covered by an amnesty in the EU country asked to hand over the perpetrator.

If the person concerned may not be held criminally responsible by the EU country asked to act on the warrant, owing to his/her age.

Rules to ensure procedural rights in arrest-warrant proceedings

These include:

Directive 2010/64/EU on the right to translation and interpretation in criminal proceedings;

Directive 2012/13/EU on the right of subjects to be informed of their rights;

Directive 2013/48/EU on the right to have access to a lawyer and the right of persons in custody to communicate with family members and employers.

Room for improvement

A 2011 European Commission report found that although the European arrest warrant was very successful in helping EU countries fight crime, several areas could be improved further, including:

transposition;

correct application;

proportionality;

ensuring procedural rights.

For further information, see European arrest warrant on the European Commission’s website.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA

7.8.2002

31.12.2003

OJ L 190 of 18.7.2002, pp. 1-20

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA

28.3.2009

28.3.2011

OJ L 81 of 27.3.2009, pp. 24-36

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2010/64/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 on the right to interpretation and translation in criminal proceedings (Official Journal L 280 of 26.10.2010, pp. 1-7).

Directive 2012/13/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 on the right to information in criminal proceedings (Official Journal L 142 of 1.6.2012, pp. 1-10).

Directive 2013/48/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, and on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty and to communicate with third persons and with consular authorities while deprived of liberty (Official Journal L 294 of 6.11.2013, pp. 1-12).

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation since 2007 of the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (COM(2011) 175 final of 11.4.2011).

Statements provided for in Article 31(2) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedure between Member States (Official Journal L 246 of 29.9.2003, p. 1).

Last updated: 29.07.2015

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