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Surrender procedure between EU countries and Iceland and Norway

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Surrender procedure between EU countries and Iceland and Norway

 

SUMMARY OF:

Council Decision 2014/835/EU — agreement on the surrender procedure between the EU countries and Iceland and Norway

WHAT DOES THIS DECISION DO?

  • It approves the agreement on the surrender procedure* between EU countries and Iceland and Norway.

KEY POINTS

  • The agreement aims to enhance judicial cooperation in criminal matters between the EU countries and Iceland and Norway.
  • In particular it establishes a surrender system to speed up the transfer of suspects and persons in custody and to ensure sufficient controls on the execution of arrest warrants.

Scope

  • The arrest warrant may be issued either for acts punishable by a jail sentence or detention orders of at least 12 months or, where a sentence has been passed or a detention order made, for a sentence of at least 4 months.
  • For offences punishable by a jail sentence of at least 3 years, the parties can make a declaration to the effect that they do not require the condition of double criminality*. These include:
    • participation in a criminal organisation,
    • terrorism,
    • trafficking in human beings,
    • child pornography,
    • illicit trafficking in human organs,
    • narcotics.

The list of offences is the same as that used by EU countries for the European Arrest Warrant.

Grounds for non-execution of the arrest warrant

The judicial authorities will refuse to execute an arrest warrant if:

  • the offence on which it is based is covered by an amnesty;
  • the person has already been tried for the same acts and the sentence has been or is being served;
  • the person cannot be held criminally responsible owing to their age.

On the other hand, the countries may refuse to execute an arrest warrant in a number of cases, including if:

  • the acts on which the warrant is based do not constitute an offence in the country in which the suspect is being held (‘executing state’), except in relation to taxes, duties, customs and exchange;
  • the person is being prosecuted in the executing state for the same act;
  • the state has passed a final judgement for the same acts, which prevents further proceedings;
  • the authorities in the executing state have decided not to prosecute the person or have halted proceedings;
  • the requested person is a national or resident of the executing state and that state intends to carry out the sentence;
  • the offences were committed outside the territory of the country issuing the warrant (‘issuing state’) or the law of the executing state does not permit prosecution for those offences.

Arrest warrant

  • The arrest warrant contains details of the identity of the requested person, the issuing authority, the sentence and the nature of the offence.
  • It is transmitted as soon as the requested person is found, and then communicated to the Schengen Information System or, if this is not possible, to Interpol.
  • If the person consents to their surrender, the final decision on the execution of the arrest warrant should be taken within 10 days; otherwise it should be taken within 60 days of the arrest.
  • If this is not possible, the issuing authorities must be informed of the reason for the delay and the time limit may be extended by 30 days.

Surrender procedure

  • When the person is arrested, they must be informed of the arrest warrant and its contents, of the possibility of consenting to surrender to the issuing authority and of their right to be assisted by legal counsel and by an interpreter.
  • The hearing is conducted according to the law of the executing state and in conditions fixed by common agreement. The person can choose whether or not to consent to their surrender if this choice is expressed voluntarily and in full awareness of the consequences.
  • The person should be surrendered within10 days of the decision to execute the warrant or, if that is impossible, within 10 days of the surrender date agreed between the authorities. If the person is still in custody at the end of that time, they must be released.
  • The executing authority will seize and hand over property that may serve as evidence or that has been acquired by the person as a result of the offence.

Surrender of the requested person

The countries party to the agreement must allow the person being surrendered to transit through their territory, provided that they have been given information about:

  • the identity of the person,
  • the existence of the arrest warrant,
  • the nature of the offence, and
  • a description of the circumstances.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DECISION APPLY?

It has applied since 28 November 2014.

BACKGROUND

* KEY TERMS

Surrender procedure: a procedure that allows a country to surrender a person to another country for the purpose of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or spell in detention.

Double criminality: the requirement that the offence concerned must be a crime both in the country in which the suspect is being held and in the country which wishes them to be handed over to stand trial.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Decision 2014/835/EU of 27 November 2014 on the conclusion of the agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway on the surrender procedure between the Member States of the European Union and Iceland and Norway (OJ L 343, 28.11.2014, pp. 1-2)

last update 24.10.2016

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