The European Arrest Warrant
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is the key mutual recognition initiative in criminal law. Entering into force on 1 January 2004, it replaced the traditional extradition system within the EU with an arrest warrant, valid for the entire territory of the EU, which can be issued by Member State authorities. In general, a test of “dual criminality”, namely that the act to which the warrant relates is an offence in both the issuing and executing states, is required, although for a list of thirty-two offences no such test is necessary.
The ECBA have followed the development of this instrument, and have made submissions and representations about the problems encountered by the accused and defendants faced with such proceedings, in particular access to legal advice in both the issuing and executing states. The framework decision was adopted in haste following the events of 9/11 as an essential tool to tackle terrorism, however there have been concerns about the lack of procedural safeguards in the new system. In particular, the measures introduced under the Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings in the EU, which was intended as a countermeasure to the powers granted under the EAW have still yet to be adopted.
- The key work the ECBA has conducted in this area includes:
The European Arrest Warrant Project Website – providing practical information to defence lawyers and the public about the adoption of the framework decision in each member state and as a resource of case law.
- Attending expert meetings, providing information about problems encountered by defence lawyers and campaigning for procedural safeguards to protect the rights of citizens throughout the EU
- The EAW-legal aid project – In conjunction with Justice, this project will collate information about the provision (or lack of) legal aid available to citizens who are subject to EAW proceedings.
Developing best practice amongst defence lawyers and access to justice in European arrest warrant cases
The European arrest warrant has been in force since 2003. Much research has been carried out into whether the framework decision was implemented correctly and whether member states are able to use the instrument efficiently and cooperate with each other effectively. There has however been an absence of research on effective representation of suspects in the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) Scheme. This project aims to provide some idea of how effective defence cases are from the particular perspective of the defence lawyer. It is a two year project. This report is an interim report to assist with consideration of the legislative initiative of the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest, Measure C on the Swedish Roadmap on procedural safeguards.
This is a joint project between JUSTICE, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA). The project commenced in September 2010 with six member states. It expanded in the summer of 2011 to ten. The ten EU member states involved in the project are the UK (England and Scotland), Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Portugal.
To read the interim report please click here.
The full report is available by clicking here.
You will also find information on following link http://www.justice.org.uk/pages/european-arrest-warrant.html