EXTRADITION LAWYERS UNITED KINGDOM
Brexit: From the European Arrest Warrant to extradition.
Since the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, Brussels has informed that the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the European Arrest Warrant Convention, which will further delay the process of surrender of requested persons who are in that territory.
We must not forget that the EAW is based on the need to expedite international judicial cooperation processes and prevent terrorism, and since the UK has left the European Union, it is obvious that, like many legal regulations to which it no longer belongs, it will no longer be part of the Euro-arrest warrant.
“Documents that have been released from Brussels in recent months reflect the fact that Brexit means that the UK is no longer part of the European arrest warrant.”
Under the European arrest warrant, EAW, suspected criminals can easily be extradited within the European community, making the process more expeditious.
What happens now that Britain is leaving the European Union?
After the UK leaves the community, member states can decide their own positions. There are ten EU countries, which affirm their firm decision that they would not extradite their citizens suspected of crimes to the UK, including: Germany, Greece, France, Croatia, Latvia, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden.
In the case of the Czech Republic and Austria, they have decided that they would only do so if the suspect agrees, i.e. in case of voluntary acceptance. However, there are eight other countries that have restrictions, such as prison sentences, which are carried out in the countries of origin.
It would be important for us to look at a case law from the House of Commons in the UK in relation to Brexit, taken from: Brexit and the European Arrest Warrant Dimitris Liakopoulos | Fletcher School-Tufts University
“The UK judicial authorities had requested the surrender of RO (a pseudonymous citizen) on the basis of two European Arrest Warrants at the conclusion of a criminal prosecution for the offences of murder, arson and rape. RO was arrested in Ireland on 3 February 2016 under the first EAW and on 4 May 2016 under the second, and remained in detention at all times. The interested party objected to her surrender to the United Kingdom on grounds based on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Union and Article 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
Uncertainty as to the arrangements that would have intervened to regulate relations between the EU and the United Kingdom following the latter’s withdrawal and the consequent uncertainty as to the extent to which the recipient of the EAW could, in fact, enjoy the rights provided for in the Treaties, in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFREU) or in the applicable law, in the event of his surrender to the United Kingdom In this regard, the CJEU notes first of all that the United Kingdom is party to the ECHR and has included in its domestic law the provisions of the article corresponding to Art. 4 CFREU. Since the decision to withdraw from the Union does not affect the United Kingdom’s obligation to comply with Art. 3 ECHR, it cannot justify a refusal to execute the European Arrest Warrant on the ground that the surrendered person is at risk of inhuman or degrading treatment and will remain in prison after such withdrawal.“
In this case we observe how the principle of international judicial cooperation is maintained, however, this does not urge the United Kingdom to remain within the signatory countries of the European Arrest Warrant, its proceedings for international requests will now be conducted as an extradition for the purpose of complying with its duty of surrender and judicial cooperation.