31 January 2023

The Court of Justice of the European Union answers the questions Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena had referred for a preliminary ruling


Llarena had asked the CJEU about the ability of judicial authorities executing European Arrest Warrants to consider matters of jurisdiction and respect for fundamental rights in the issuing state. The questions are raised in the context of the preliminary investigation in the Supreme Court’s case against the 1 October leaders, which at that time was prosecuting Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín, Clara Ponsatí, Lluís Puig, Meritxell Serret, Marta Rovira and Anna Gabriel. The CJEU notes, in the first place, that a judicial authority can refuse to surrender an individual when it has evidence of systemic or generalised deficiencies in the operation of the judicial system of the issuing Member State, or deficiencies affecting the judicial protection of an objectively identifiable group of persons to which the individual in question belongs. Secondly, the judicial authority must also find evidence that, in the particular circumstances of the case, there are substantial grounds to believe that the court that would try the individual manifestly lacks jurisdiction to do so. The ruling furthermore recognises that the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s report can be taken into account by the judicial authority when establishing this test. The CJEU also notes that several successive European Arrest Warrants may be issued after a Member State has rejected a first European Arrest Warrant, provided that it is proportionate and does not result in the violation of fundamental rights.

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