Nicole Lazzerini

The Duty to Protect Fundamental Rights as a Limit to the Execution of a European Arrest Warrant: The "Aranyosi and Căldăraru" Judgment

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Arrest Warrant; Execution; Mutual Trust; Limits; Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; Indirect Violation

In the European arrest warrant' system, the principle of mutual recognition implies that a judicial authority must execute a warrant issued in conformity to Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA, unless one of the mandatory or optional grounds for non-execution applies. The principle of mutual trust between the Member States, which complements and justifies mutual recognition, prevents a Member State from refusing non-execution by relying on the protection granted to fundamental rights by the domestic sources. Another corollary of mutual trust is that, save in exceptional circumstances, the Member State that is requested to execute the warrant cannot check the compliance with EU fundamental by the issuing Member State. In the "Aranyosi and C ld raru" judgment, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice interpreted the limit of the exceptional circumstances as including the situation where the transferal would expose the addressee of the warrant to a real risk of inhuman or degrading treatment, because of the conditions for his detention in the issuing Member State. In doing this, the Court took account of the case law of the Strasbourg Court on the "responsabilité par ricochet". The judgment is therefore welcome from a human rights point of view, and suggests the effort of the Court of Justice to align the EU system of fundamental rights protection to the ECHR system. At the same time, the judgment shows the complexity of achieving a proper balancing between collective security and protection of individual fundamental rights, in a context of partial integration amongst the Member States.

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