Extradition between the european union - iceland and norway. Critical comments

Author:Alexandru Boroi
Position:Professor ? 'Danubius' University, Galati
Pages:1-16
1
EXTRADITION BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION -
ICELAND AND NORWAY. CRITICAL COMMENTS
1
Alexandru BOROI, PhD
Professor – “Danubius” University,
GalaŃi
Abstract
The subject matter of this study deals with the provisions of the International Agreement
establishing the procedures for the surrender of persons requested for having committed
crimes, for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial
sentence or detention order, between the European Union on the one hand, and Norway and
Iceland on the other hand.
Also, within the research’s tenour there were also laid down some critical comments
pointing at the need to supplement the provisions of the international instrument for
cooperation.
The research’s results are materialized in the analysis of the international instrument,
the identification of incomplete legal regulations that, in the actual cooperation business will
cause breakdowns in advancing some practical proposals for amendments and supplements.
The study serves the purpose of theorists and practitioners in this particularly complex
area.
Keywords: arrest warrant, proposals for supplementation.
Introduction
Crime fighting has been a constant concern of all States of the world, since ancient times.
As the relations of cooperation between the States of the world boosted, particularly from the
economic point of view, various possibilities have arisen as to the movement of individuals,
on all continents.
Thus, crime at a global level has experienced new forms of expression, some extremely
violent, the perpetrators of these types of actions succeeding in many situations to avoid
criminal liability, flying to the winds out of the country where they have committed the
relevant acts and hiding in the territory of other States
2
.
Under these circumstances, with the passage of time, crime has been manifested in the
most diverse and violent forms, being a threat to the individual security of citizens or even to
the internal security of certain States. The development of real opportunities for the
movement of citizens across Europe (starting with the second half of the last century) has
Traducător: Cerasela Marina Gheorghe
Email: alexandruboroi@yahoo.com.
2
See, I. Rusu, M .I.Rusu, Extrădarea activă (Active Extradition), Revista de Drept P enal (The Criminal Law
Review) No. 3/2010, p. 54.
2
resulted in new mutations in the structure of cross-border crime, mutations generally entailed
by the possibility of criminal elements’ movement, by ensuring a highly developed
organization and logistics
3
.
We can argue that, on account of these transformations, particularly in recent decades, in
Europe as well as worldwide, crime has witnessed unprecedented development, gathering
way in the most diverse forms, some of them extremely severe, endangering thereby the
safety of both individuals and collectivity, or even the existence of certain States
4
.
The growing danger stemming from the evolution of organized crime, as well as the
possibility to avoid the criminal prosecution or trial of crimes’ perpetrators, called forth the
world’s States to step up work on the international judicial cooperation, this being the only
way to prevent and fight the phenomenon in its entirety.
Research on the evolution of forms of international judicial cooperation in criminal
matters highlights the fact that the oldest and, at the same time, the best known form of
international judicial cooperation in criminal matters is rightfully considered extradition.
The European States have addressed this particularly complex issue on two tiers,
respectively internally, through the adoption of a law which could support the extradition of
individuals, including their own citizens, and externally, through the permanent trend to
simplify the surrender procedures, on account of bilateral or regional covenants.
Sensing this imminent danger for the entire European Community, the Council of Europe
adopted on December 13
th
, 1957 the European Convention on Extradition, the first major
piece of legislation in this area, which has been ratified over time by all European States
5
.
The establishment of the European Union and the Schengen area subsequently, which
also prompted free movement of people and goods in an expanded area, has led to the
emergence of significant mutations in the criminal area, namely it led to easy movement and,
generally, without major risks of offenders in any Member State of the European Union or
Schengen area and, inferentially, the possibility to avoid criminal liability
6
.
At European Union level, the measures taken so far have focussed on two main issues,
namely the adoption of a coherent regulatory framework that would contribute to the
enhancement of specific judicial cooperation activities in criminal matters between the
Member States
7
and the adoption of international instruments for cooperation between
Member States and the other States across Europe or worldwide
8
.
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
3
See, I. Rusu, Mandatul european de arestare, în urma modificărilor aduse de Legea nr. 222/2008 (The
European Arrest Warrant, following Amendments under Law No. 222/2008), Caiete de Drept Penal (Criminal Law
Books) No. 1/2009, pp. 18-19.
4
See, I. Rusu, Transferul de proceduri în materie penală (The Transfer of Proceedings in Criminal Matters),
Dreptul (Law) No. 6/2009, p. 186.
5
See, M.I.Rusu, I. Rusu, ParticularităŃile executării mandatului european de arestare în cazul infracŃiunilor
transfrontaliere (Particularities of Execution of the European Arrest Warrant in the case of Cross-border Crime),
Dreptul (Law) No. 9/2011, p. 191.
6
Ibidem, p. 192.
7
See: Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA on t he European arrest warrant and the surrender
procedures between Member States, the Council Framework Decision 2003/577/JHA on the execution in the
European Union of orders freezing property or evidence, the Council Framework Decision 2005/214/JHA on the
application of the principle of mutual recognition to financial penalties, etc.
8
See: Agreement on mutual legal assistance between the European Union and the United States of America,
the Agreement on extradition between the European Union and the United States of America, the Agreement
between the European Union and Japan on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, etc.
3
Union and Iceland and Norway represents the international instrument in the field of judicial
cooperation in criminal matters, according to which the Contracting States shall extradite
certain categories of citizens.
The importance of this international instrument for judicial cooperation in criminal
matters arises from the fact that it must be implemented by all Member States of the
European Union, therefore Romania included, its implementation helping to prevent and fight
crime in all areas.
In the study hereby we shall proceed to examine the provisions of this international
instrument, as well as to advance some critical comments.
I. General Approaches. According to the provisions of the international instrument, the
Contracting Parties, by signing thereof, are committed to improving surrender for the purpose
of criminal prosecution or the execution of sentences. Surrender will be carried out on the
basis of an arrest warrant issued by the competent authorities of each Member State or in
Iceland or Norway.
The arrest warrant is defined as a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view
to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a requested person, for the purposes
of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.
The arrest warrant may be issued provided the following conditions are met:
- the acts for which the warrant is issued shall be punishable by the law of the issuing
Member State by a custodial sentence or a detention order for a maximum period of at least
12 months;
- where a sentence has been passed or a detention order has been made, for sentences
of at least four months.
In both cases, the double criminality requirement must also be met, whatever the
constituent elements or legal classification in the executing State.
The first exception to the general rule regarding the execution of an arrest warrant
(shown above) consists in the obligation of executing a relevant warrant in connection with
the acts of any person contributing to the committing, by a group of persons acting towards a
common purpose, of one or more offences in the field of terrorism provided for in Articles 1
and 2 of the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, as well as Articles 1, 2, 3
and 4 of the Council Framework Decision of June 13
th
, 2002 on combating terrorism, in the
field of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances or crimes of homicide,
serious bodily injury, kidnapping, illegal restraint, hostage-taking and rape, punishable by a
custodial sentence or detention order with a maximum of at least 12 months, even where the
said person does not take part in the actual execution of the relevant offence or offences; its
contribution must have been intentional and committed fully aware that such participation
shall contribute to the achievement of the organization’s criminal activity.
The second exception relates to the execution of an arrest warrant in the case of certain
types of offences for which the double criminality requirement is not necessary, but these acts
must be punishable in the issuing State by a custodial sentence or detention order for a
maximum of at least three years. These types of crimes cover: participation in a criminal
organization; terrorism; trafficking in human beings; sexual exploitation of children and child
pornography; illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances; illicit
trafficking in weapons, munitions and explosives; corruption; fraud, including that affecting
the financial interests of the European Communities, within the meaning of the Convention of
4
July 26
th
, 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests;
laundering of the proceeds of crime; counterfeiting currency, including of the euro;
computer-related crime; environmental crime, including illicit trafficking in endangered
animal species and in endangered plant species and varieties; facilitation of unauthorised
entry and residence; murder, grievous bodily injury; illicit trade in human organs and tissues;
kidnapping, illegal restraint and hostage-taking; racism and xenophobia; organised or armed
robbery; illicit trafficking in cultural goods, including antiques and works of art; swindling;
racketeering and extortion; counterfeiting and piracy of products; forgery of administrative
documents and trafficking therein; forgery of means of payment; illicit trafficking in
hormonal substances and other growth promoters; illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive
materials; trafficking in stolen vehicles; rape; arson; crimes within the jurisdiction of the
International Criminal Court; unlawful seizure of aircraft and ships, and sabotage.
We note that all types of crimes mentioned above, for which the double criminality
requirement is not necessary to be met, are deemed serious crimes under the laws of all the
Member States of the European Union.
Likewise, it turns out that these crimes are set out in the judicial cooperation plan in
criminal matters at European Union level in all regulations adopted in recent years.
In terms of the provisions under review, we point out hereby that these have many
elements of similarity, being almost identical to those referred to in Council Framework
Decision 2002/584/JHA of June 13
th
, 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender
procedures between Member States.
1. Grounds for mandatory and optional non-execution of the arrest warrant. a)
Mandatory grounds.
According to the provisions of the international instrument, Member States shall refuse
to execute the European arrest warrant in the following cases:
- if the offence on which the European arrest warrant is based is covered by amnesty
in the executing Member State, where that State had jurisdiction to prosecute the offence
under its own criminal law;
- if the executing judicial authority is informed that the requested person has been
finally judged by a Member State in respect of the same acts, provided that, where there has
been sentence, the sentence has been served, or is currently being served or may no longer be
executed, under the law of the sentencing Member State;
- if the person who is the subject of the European arrest warrant may not, owing to
his/her age, be held criminally responsible for the acts on which the arrest warrant is based,
under the law of the executing State
9
.
We hereby point out that, out of the interpretation of the provisions of the international
instrument, it appears that these mandatory grounds under which the execution of an arrest
warrant is refused shall be valid only for the Member States of the European Union, Iceland
and Norway excluded. We argue that it is fairly normal that the two Contracting States, even
if the relevant legislation fails to set forth, raise any of these grounds. In this context, we
appreciate that a possible refusal of enforcement of an arrest warrant by the competent
judicial authorities of Iceland or Norway, pursuant to the aforementioned provisions, should
be grounded in all circumstances and also raised, only after consideration of each specific
situation by the judicial authorities of the States concerned.
9
Article 4 of the Agreement.
5
b). Optional grounds. In addition to the cases mentioned above, Member States and
Iceland and Norway may establish the duty or the option for their relevant executing judicial
authorities to refuse the execution of the European arrest warrant in the following cases:
- if the act on which the arrest warrant is based does not constitute an offence under the
law of the executing Member State; however, in relation to taxes or duties, customs and
exchange, execution of the arrest warrant shall not be refused on the ground that the law of
the executing Member State does not impose the same kind of tax or duty or does not contain
the same type of rules as regards taxes, duties, customs and exchange regulations as the law
of the issuing Member State;
- where the person who is the subject of the arrest warrant is being prosecuted in the
executing Member State for the same act as that on which the European arrest warrant is
based;
- where the judicial authorities of the executing Member State have decided either not to
prosecute for the offence on which the European arrest warrant is based, or to halt
proceedings, or where a final judgment has been passed upon the requested person in a
Member State, in respect of the same acts, which prevents further proceedings;
- where the criminal prosecution or punishment of the requested person is statute-barred
according to the law of the executing Member State, and the acts fall within the jurisdiction
of that Member State, under its own criminal law;
- if the executing judicial authority is informed that the requested person has been finally
judged by a third State in respect of the same act, provided that, where there has been
sentence, the sentence has been served or is currently being served or may no longer be
executed, under the law of the sentencing country;
- if the European arrest warrant has been issued for the purposes of execution of a
custodial sentence or detention order, where the requested person is staying in, or is a
national or a resident of the executing Member State and that State undertakes to execute the
sentence or detention order in accordance with its domestic law;
- where the arrest warrant relates to offences which:
- are regarded by the law of the executing Member State as having been committed in
whole or in part in the territory of the executing Member State or in a place treated as such;
or - have been committed outside the territory of the issuing Member State and the law of
the executing Member State does not allow prosecution for the same offences when
committed outside its territory.
We hereby point out that all the grounds for refusal to execute an arrest warrant are
optional and not mandatory to any of the States concerned. Likewise, these grounds are
analyzed for each individual case by the competent judicial authorities of the Member State
concerned on the one hand and Iceland or Norway on the other hand.
2. Exceptions relating to political offences and nationality. Executing an arrest warrant
may not be refused on the grounds that the executing State may regard the offence as a
political one, an offence connected with a political offence or an offence inspired by political
reasons. This provision is as up-to-date as possible, having regard to the entire European
legislation in this field.
6
However, given the seriousness of the offences of terrorism, the Act provides that the
Contracting Parties may make a statement that the abovementioned provisions shall apply
only in respect of:
- offences referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the European Convention on the suppression
of terrorism;- offences of conspiracy or association, corresponding to the acts described in
Article 3(3), for committing one or more of the offences referred to in Articles 1 and 2 of the
European Convention on the suppression of terrorism; and
- Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Council Framework Decision of June 13
th
, 2002 on
combating terrorism.
Where an arrest warrant has been issued by a State which has made a statement under the
aforementioned, the executing State may apply the principle of reciprocity.
Also, executing an arrest warrant may not be refused on the grounds that the person who
is the subject of the request is a national of the executing State. In these circumstances, the
Contracting Parties may make a statement under which the surrender of nationals can be
achieved only if certain conditions imposed by the executing Member State are met.
3. Guarantees to be given by the issuing Member State in particular cases. The
execution of the European arrest warrant by the executing judicial authority may, by the law
of the executing Member State, be subject to the following conditions:
- where the European arrest warrant has been issued for the purposes of executing a
sentence or a detention order imposed by a decision rendered in absentia and if the person
concerned has not been summoned in person or otherwise informed of the date and place of
the hearing which led to the decision rendered in absentia, surrender may be subject to the
condition that the issuing judicial authority gives an assurance deemed adequate to guarantee
the person who is the subject of the European arrest warrant that he or she will have an
opportunity to apply for a retrial of the case in the issuing Member State and to be present at
the judgment;
- if the offence on the basis of which the European arrest warrant has been issued is
punishable by custodial life sentence or life-time detention order, the execution of the said
arrest warrant may be subject to the condition that the issuing Member State has provisions in
its legal system for a review of the penalty or measure imposed, on request or at the latest
after 20 years, or for the application of measures of clemency to which the person is entitled
to apply for under the law or practice of the issuing Member State, aiming at a non-execution
of such penalty or measure;
- where a person who is the subject of a European arrest warrant for the purposes of
prosecution is a national or resident of the executing Member State, surrender may be subject
to the condition that the person, after being heard, is returned to the executing Member State
in order to serve there the custodial sentence or detention order passed against him in the
issuing Member State
10
.
Out of the assessment of the provisions referred to above, it follows that each Member
State or Norway or Iceland, through their competent judicial bodies, may refuse to execute an
arrest warrant, unless certain conditions are met. This refusal is at the discretion of the
executing Member State, which can claim or not meeting the said conditions. We appreciate
that all the conditions laid down in the international instrument should be met each and every
time, and, therefore, the failure to enter obligations by the Member State having issued the
10
Article 8 of the Agreement.
7
arrest warrant will inevitably lead to refusal of execution, whether a Member State or Iceland
or Norway are faced with this situation.
Besides, it turns out that these conditions are set out in the majority of European
regulations governing one form or another in judicial cooperation in criminal matters between
the Member States.
At the same time, we hereby point out that the imposition of such conditions is not
mandatory for the Contracting Parties, but optional.
4. Content and form of the European arrest warrant. The European arrest warrant issued
under the international instrument under review shall contain the following information (set
out in the form, also):
- the identity and nationality of the requested person;
- the name, address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail address of the issuing judicial
authority;
- evidence of an enforceable judgment, an arrest warrant or any other enforceable judicial
decision having the same effect, coming within the scope of Articles 2 and 3;
- the nature and legal classification of the offence, particularly in respect of Article 3
(scope);
- a description of the circumstances in which the offence was committed, including the
time, place and degree of participation in the offence by the requested person;
- the penalty imposed, if there is a final judgment, or the prescribed scale of penalties for
the offence under the law of the issuing Member State;
- if possible, other consequences of the offence.
The European arrest warrant must be translated into the official language or one of the
official languages of the executing Member State. Any Contracting Party, on the adoption of
the relevant instrument or at a later date, may state in a declaration that it will accept a
translation in one or more other official languages of a Member State
11
.
II. The surrender procedure under the European arrest warrant.
1. Transmission of a European arrest warrant, rights of a requested person, decision of
the competent authority
When the location of the requested person is known to the judicial authority in the
issuing Member State, the issuing judicial authority may transmit the European arrest warrant
directly to the executing judicial authority, without any other further formalities. The issuing
judicial authority may, in any event, decide to issue an alert for the requested person in the
Schengen Information System (SIS). Such an alert in the Schengen Information System shall
be equivalent to a European arrest warrant, provided it is accompanied by the information set
out in the arrest warrant.
If the issuing judicial authority does not know the competent executing judicial authority,
it shall make the requisite enquiries to establish the competent authority, including using
information obtained from the executing Member State. If it is not possible to call on the
services of the SIS, the issuing judicial authority may call on the International Criminal
Police Organization (INTERPOL) to transmit a European arrest warrant. Likewise, the
issuing judicial authority may forward the European arrest warrant by any secure means
capable of producing written records under conditions allowing the executing Member State
11
Ibidem, Article 11 of the Agreement.
8
to establish its authenticity. If the authority which receives a European arrest warrant is not
competent to act upon it, it shall automatically forward the European arrest warrant to the
competent authority in its Member State and shall inform the issuing judicial authority
accordingly. All difficulties concerning the transmission or the authenticity of any European
arrest warrant shall be dealt with by direct contacts between the judicial authorities involved,
or, where appropriate, with the involvement of the central authorities of the two Member
States involved.
As regards the rights of the arrested person, we note hereby that, first, it will be
informed, in accordance with the national law of the executing Member State, of the
European arrest warrant and of its contents, and also of the possibility of consenting to
surrender to the issuing judicial authority. Also, the said person will be informed that he or
she has the right to be assisted by a legal counsel and by an interpreter in accordance with the
national law of the executing Member State. The executing judicial authority shall take a
decision on whether the requested person should remain in detention, in accordance with the
law of the relevant Member State. The person may be released provisionally at any time in
conformity with the domestic law of the executing Member State, provided that the
competent authority of the said Member State takes all the measures it deems necessary to
prevent the person absconding.
If the arrested person indicates that he or she consents to surrender, that consent and, if
appropriate, express renunciation of entitlement to the “speciality rule”, shall be given before
the executing judicial authority, in accordance with the domestic law of the executing
Member State. These statements of the requested person shall be established in such a way as
to show that the person concerned has expressed them voluntarily and in full awareness of the
consequences. To that end, the requested person shall have the right to legal counsel. Both
consent and renunciation shall be formally recorded in accordance with the procedure laid
down by the domestic law of the executing Member State. In principle, the consent to
surrender may not be revoked. However, each Member State may provide that consent and, if
appropriate, renunciation may be revoked, in accordance with the rules applicable under its
domestic law. In this case, the period between the date of consent and that of its revocation
shall not be taken into consideration in establishing the time limits laid down in the
international instrument. Norway and Iceland, on the one hand, and the European Union, on
behalf of any of its Member States, on the other hand, can make along with the notification a
statement indicating that they wish to have recourse to this possibility and shall specify the
procedures whereby revocation of consent shall be possible and any amendment to them.
Where the person concerned does not consent to his or her surrender after her/him being
arrested, he or she shall be entitled to be heard by the executing judicial authority, in
accordance with the law of the executing Member State.
If two or more Member States have issued a European arrest warrant or an arrest warrant
for the same person, the decision on which of the arrest warrants shall be executed shall be
taken by the executing judicial authority with due consideration of all the circumstances and
especially the relative seriousness and place of the offences, the respective dates of the arrest
warrants and whether the warrant has been issued for the purposes of prosecution or for
execution of a custodial sentence or detention order.
In special cases, the executing judicial authority of a Member State may seek the advice
of Eurojust in order to determine the order of execution of the arrest warrants. In the event of
a conflict between a European arrest warrant and a request for extradition presented by a third
country, the decision on whether the European arrest warrant or the extradition request takes
9
precedence shall be taken by the competent authority of the executing Member State with due
consideration of all the circumstances, in particular those referred to above and those
mentioned in the applicable convention.
2. Time limits, procedures, hearing the person, privileges and immunities. The general
rule established under the provisions of the international instrument is that a European arrest
warrant shall be dealt with and executed as a matter of urgency. In cases where the requested
person consents to his surrender, the final decision on the execution of the European arrest
warrant should be taken within a period of 10 days after consent has been given. In other
cases, the final decision on the execution of the European arrest warrant should be taken
within a period of 60 days after the arrest of the requested person. Where in specific cases the
time limits laid down hereinbefore cannot be observed, the executing judicial authority shall
immediately inform the issuing judicial authority thereof, giving the reasons for the delay. In
such case, the time limits may be extended by a further 30 days.
Reasons must be given for any refusal to execute a European arrest warrant by the
executing judicial authority.
Where the European arrest warrant has been issued for the purpose of conducting a
criminal prosecution, the executing judicial authority must agree that the requested person
should be heard, as well as the temporary transfer of the requested person, under the
conditions determined by mutual agreement between the two judicial authorities.
The requested person shall be heard by a judicial authority, assisted by another person
designated in accordance with the law of the Member State of the requesting court.
The person requested shall be surrendered as soon as possible on a date agreed between
the authorities concerned, no later than 10 days after the final decision on the execution of the
European arrest warrant. If the surrender of the requested person within the period laid down
hereinbefore is prevented by circumstances beyond the control of any of the Member States,
the executing and issuing judicial authorities shall immediately agree on a new surrender
date. In that event, the surrender shall take place within 10 days of the new date thus agreed.
The surrender may exceptionally be temporarily postponed for serious humanitarian reasons,
for example if there are substantial grounds for believing that it would manifestly endanger
the requested person’s life or health.
Where the requested person enjoys a privilege or immunity regarding jurisdiction or
execution in the executing Member State, the time limits referred to above shall not start
running unless, and counting from the day when, the executing judicial authority is informed
of the fact that the privilege or immunity has been waived. Where power to waive the
privilege or immunity lies with an authority of the executing Member State, the executing
judicial authority shall request it to exercise that power forthwith. Where power to waive the
privilege or immunity lies with an authority of another State or international organisation, it
shall be for the issuing judicial authority to request it to exercise that power.
3. Postponed or conditional surrender and transit. The executing judicial authority may,
after deciding to execute the European arrest warrant, postpone the surrender of the requested
person so that he or she may be prosecuted or, if he or she has already been sentenced, so that
he or she may serve a sentence passed. However, instead of postponed surrender, the
executing judicial authority may temporarily surrender the requested person to the issuing
Member State under conditions to be determined by mutual agreement in writing.
10
On the subject of transit, the general rule established under the regulation is that each
Member State shall permit the transit through its territory of a requested person who is the
subject of execution of a European arrest warrant, provided that the Member State of transit
has been previously given information on:
- the identity and nationality of the person subject to the European arrest warrant;
- the existence of a European arrest warrant;
- the nature and legal classification of the offence;
- the description of the circumstances of the offence, including the date and place.
The Member State executing an arrest warrant in the case of nationals under certain
conditions may, under the same conditions, refuse transit of nationals in its territory or
subject this transit to the same conditions. The Contracting Parties shall communicate to each
other which is the authority designated in each Member State for receiving transit requests
and the necessary documents, as well as any other official correspondence relating to transit
requests.
III. Effects of the surrender.
1. Criminal prosecution for other offences. The general rule established in the
international relations of judicial cooperation in criminal matters is that the person who is the
subject of surrender on the basis of an arrest warrant shall not be held criminally liable for an
offence committed prior to his or her surrender other than that for which he or she was
surrendered. However, the Contracting Parties may notify that, in relations with other
Member States that have given the same notification, consent is presumed to have been given
for the prosecution, sentencing or detention with a view to the carrying out of a custodial
sentence or detention order for an offence committed prior to his or her surrender, other than
that for which he or she was surrendered, unless in a particular case the executing judicial
authority states otherwise in its decision on surrender.
In this context, the person surrendered will be held criminally liable for other offences
committed prior to his or her surrender, in the following cases:
- when the person having had an opportunity to leave the territory of the Member State to
which he or she has been surrendered has not done so within 45 days of his or her final
discharge, or has returned to that territory after leaving it;
- the offence is not punishable by a custodial sentence or detention order;
- the criminal proceedings do not give rise to the application of a measure restricting
personal liberty;
- when the person could be liable to a penalty or a measure not involving the deprivation
of liberty, in particular a financial penalty or a measure in lieu thereof, even if the penalty or
measure may give rise to a restriction of his or her personal liberty;
- when the person consented to be surrendered, where appropriate at the same time as he
or she renounced the speciality rule;
- when the person, after his/her surrender, has expressly renounced entitlement to the
speciality rule with regard to specific offences preceding his/her surrender. Renunciation
shall be given before the competent judicial authorities of the issuing Member State and shall
be recorded in accordance with that State’s domestic law. The renunciation shall be drawn up
in such a way as to make clear that the person has given it voluntarily and in full awareness
of the consequences. To that end, the person shall have the right to legal counsel;
- where the executing judicial authority which surrendered the person gives its consent
thereto.
11
We set out hereby that, in order to obtain the consent of the executing judicial authority,
the issuing judicial authority shall submit a request accompanied by all the information
required and a relevant translation thereof. Consent shall be given when the offence for which
it is requested is itself subject to surrender. Consent shall be refused on the grounds for non-
execution of the European arrest warrant or for other reasons or the exception related to
political offences or the exception related to nationality. The decision shall be taken no later
than 30 days after receipt of the request.
2. Surrender or subsequent extradition. The Contracting Parties may notify each other
that, in the relations with other Member States which have given the same notification, the
consent for the surrender of a person to a Member State other than the executing Member
State pursuant to a European arrest warrant issued for an offence committed prior to his or
her surrender is presumed to have been given, unless in a particular case the executing
judicial authority states otherwise in its decision on surrender.
In any case, a person who has been surrendered pursuant to a European arrest warrant
may, without the consent of the executing Member State, be surrendered to a Member State
other than the executing Member State pursuant to a European arrest warrant issued for any
offence committed prior to his or her surrender in the following cases:
- where the requested person, having had an opportunity to leave the territory of the
Member State to which he or she has been surrendered, has not done so within 45 days of his
final discharge, or has returned to that territory after leaving it;
- where the requested person consents to be surrendered to a Member State other than the
executing Member State pursuant to a European arrest warrant. Consent shall be given before
the competent judicial authorities of the issuing Member State and shall be recorded in
accordance with that State’s national law. It shall be drawn up in such a way as to make clear
that the person concerned has given it voluntarily and in full awareness of the consequences.
To that end, the requested person shall have the right to legal counsel;
- where the requested person is not subject to the speciality rule.
The executing judicial authority consents to the surrender of the person concerned to
another Member State according to the following rules:
- the request for consent shall be submitted in compliance with the provisions set forth
hereinbefore;
- consent shall be given when the offence for which it is requested is itself subject to
surrender;
- the decision shall be taken no later than 30 days after receipt of the request;
- consent shall be refused on the grounds referred to above.
3. Handing over of property. At the request of the issuing judicial authority or on its own
initiative, the executing judicial authority shall, in accordance with its national law, seize and
hand over property which may be required as evidence and has been acquired by the
requested person as a result of the offence. The property referred to above shall be handed
over even if the European arrest warrant cannot be carried out owing to the death or escape of
the requested person. If the property referred to above is liable to seizure or confiscation in
the territory of the executing Member State, the latter may, if the property is needed in
connection with pending criminal proceedings, temporarily retain it or hand it over to the
issuing Member State, on condition that it is returned.
12
IV. Critical comments. The adoption of this international instrument, which establishes a
new form of international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, represents an important
step in the joint effort of the European States in the complex task of preventing and
combating more effectively the criminality of all genres.
Although this international cooperation instrument has its unchallengeable importance,
its analysis allows us to lay down some critical comments, with reference to certain
provisions which may cause malfunctions in the surrender of individuals pursuant to a
European arrest warrant.
The first and, as we judge it, the most important comment concerns the absence of a
procedure for recognizing the arrest warrant issued by a judicial authority of a Member State
or by a competent judicial authority in Norway or Iceland.
In our doctrine, it was claimed that the most important form of international judicial
cooperation in criminal matters is recognition and enforcement of criminal judgments and
judicial acts passed by a competent authority of another State
12
.
Although this form of cooperation has not been explicitly recognized, it has been applied
since ancient times, the most cogent examples being represented by international conventions
and treaties on extradition.
At the level of the Council of Europe, the first legal instrument governing the institution
of recognition and enforcement of criminal judgments was the European Convention on the
International Validity of Criminal Judgments, concluded at the Hague on May 28
th
, 1970
13
.
Subsequently, all legal instruments adopted in the field of judicial cooperation in
criminal matters in the European Union are based on the recognition and enforcement of
criminal judgments and other judicial acts, by another Member State.
In this context, we appreciate that the international instrument under review should have
made provision for a special method of recognition of the arrest warrant, regarded as concrete
result that embodies a court ruling. In other words, it should be recognized in the first place
the judgment on which the issuance of the arrest warrant is based.
Another critical comment refers to the definition of the arrest warrant, which fails to
consider the arrest and surrender for prosecution of the requested person. Thus, according to
the provisions set forth under Article 2(5) of the international instrument under review, the
arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest and
surrender by another Member State of a requested person, for the purposes of conducting a
criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order. We appreciate that
it is absolutely necessary to supplement the aforementioned provisions, so as to consider the
option of the requested person’s arrest and surrender for the prosecution thereof, as well, but
only when the relevant Court judges that the presence of such person is required.
Also, in the case of grounds for mandatory refusal to execute a European arrest warrant,
it should have been also provided for the case in which the requested person is not held
criminally liable due to his or her irresponsibility, caused by a mental illness. We point out
12
See, I. Rusu, M. I. Rusu, ObservaŃii critice referitoare la aplicarea principiului recunoaşterii reciproce î n
cazul hotărârilor judecătoreşti care impun pedepse sau măsuri privative de libertate, în scopul executării lor într-
un stat membru al Uniunii Europene, (Critical comments relating to the application of the principle of mutual
recognition of judgments imposing custodial sentences or detention orders, for the purpose of their execution in a
Member State of the European Union), Revista Dreptul (Law Review) No. 2/2010, p. 224.
13
Ibidem, p. 224.
13
that the current provisions cover only the lack of criminal liability owing to the age [Article 4
(3)].
As regards the procedure for transmitting a European arrest warrant, we appreciate that
prior to taking a decision, the issuing Member State must make a series of checks in order to
determine the exact location of the requested person. This police-like task cannot be achieved
by any Court of law, which is why we believe that prior to transmitting the arrest warrant, the
competent court will request the internal police units within INTERPOL to identify the
location of the person in question, that, within the framework of the international police
cooperation activities, will proceed to the identification of the person and the place where he
or she is located. After receiving the response, the competent court will send the arrest
warrant directly to the competent judicial authority to recognize and execute the same. In
view of these considerations, we hold that the provisions of Article 13 should be
supplemented for the purposes set forth herein.
Another critical comment relates to ensuring the rights of the defence of the requested
person, if consent to surrender. The current provisions stipulate only that the person
concerned has the right to legal counsel, but not the obligation of the legal bodies for the
execution of the arrest warrant to ensure compulsory assistance by a legal counsel (Article
16). We argue that these provisions flagrantly infringe upon the provisions of Article 6(3)(b)
and (c) of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms. In this context, we appreciate that the aforementioned provisions should be
supplemented by a new paragraph, setting forth the mandatory duty of the legal bodies within
the executing Member State to secure the rights of the defence by a lawyer, either chosen or
appointed ex officio. The adoption of such supplementations would make it possible to avoid
any possible abuses on the part of legal bodies involved and, inferentially, it would entrench
the correctness of taking the consent to surrender.
According to the provisions set forth under Article 17, where the arrested person does
not consent to his or her surrender as referred to in Article 16, he or she shall be entitled to be
heard by the executing judicial authority, in accordance with the law of the executing
Member State. We note hereby that these provisions are incomplete, as these fail to show
what that statement should provide for, fail to establish the compulsoriness of securing
defence by a lawyer, either chosen or appointed and fail to show where it must reach or what
the statement may serve to. All these comments should lead to the adoption of new provisions
within the same Article, by supplementing the same.
In the case of multiple requests, the ones relating to the execution of custodial sentences
or detention orders should be considered separately, in order to ensure the possibility of the
person concerned to execute the custodial sentence or the detention order in the country of
residence or citizenship.
According to the provisions set forth under Article 22, the requested person shall be
heard by a judicial authority, assisted by another person designated in accordance with the
law of the Member State of the requesting court, the hearing being conducted in accordance
with the law of the executing Member State and with the conditions determined by mutual
agreement between the issuing and executing judicial authorities. We argue that these
provisions should be supplemented by the compulsoriness of hearing the requested person
only in the presence of a legal counsel, and this person’s statement to be signed also by the
legal counsel having provided legal assistance. We point out hereby that this hearing should
not be confused with the one conducted in the case of refusal of consent to the surrender
referred to above, because this occurs pending the decision to surrender.
14
A special case deals with the surrender of a person enjoying a series of privileges or
immunities established under the law of the executing Member State or any international
conventions or treaties. According to the provisions of Article 23, the executing Member
State, or, where appropriate, the issuing one, shall refer to the competent institutions
requesting that these privileges or immunities be waived, and subsequent to such waiver, it
shall ensure surrender. The provisions of the international instrument end here, making no
reference to the situation where a privilege or immunity is not waived, in which case the
person concerned will not be surrendered, the consequence being that the same will no longer
be held criminally liable for the offence committed. We argue that, in this case, the
international instrument should stipulate, presumably, the possibility of surrender, after the
requested person will no longer enjoy the relevant privilege or immunity. Admittedly, in such
a case it will be considered in the first place the term of prescription of criminal liability,
which is why we argue that the adoption of another regulation at European Union level
deems requisite.
Another provision, at least questionable as we may judge it, is the one provided for in
Article 27(1), setting forth the postponement of the execution of the European arrest warrant
so that he or she may be prosecuted or may serve a sentence. Similarly to the previous
situation, here also arises the question of statute-barred criminal liability, as well as that of
serving a sentence in the State of origin or in the State in which the person concerned resides.
We also argue that, in the case where the person concerned, after his or her surrender,
has expressly renounced entitlement to the speciality rule with regard to specific offences
preceding his or her surrender in the issuing Member State, it deems necessary to take a
compulsory statement in the presence of a legal counsel, either chosen or appointed ex
officio. The current provisions only provide for the right of the person to be assisted by a
legal counsel, and not the compulsoriness of the legal bodies to ensure the presence of a legal
counsel in taking the statement or the drafting of any other document in compliance with the
law of the issuing Member State.
Another critical comment relates to the possible freezing of property that may serve as
evidence or has been acquired by the requested person as a result of the offence for which
surrender is requested. According to the provisions of the international instrument (Article
32), this property shall be seized at the request of the arrest warrant’s issuing authority or on
its own initiative. We point out hereby that a simple request to freeze such property is not
sufficient, and we believe that this request should be accompanied by the court ruling having
ordered the said measure. Concurrently, we argue that this court ruling had to be recognized
first by the judicial authority in the executing Member State, and after this mandatory
procedure, it should be enforced. These details are not set forth in the international instrument
under review.
Lastly, a final critical comment relates to the absence of legal proceedings prior to the
issuance of the arrest warrant, different procedures, depending on the issuing Member State.
Thus, if a Member State of the European Union is concerned, the competent court will issue
first an arrest warrant, which is valid in the territory of that Member State. If, following
checks carried out by the competent bodies of the Member State, with tasks assigned in
relation to the surrender and imprisonment of the person who is the subject of the arrest
warrant, it ensues that the person concerned is a refugee or is hiding in the territory of another
Member State, the same court shall issue the European arrest warrant. If the same checks
reveal that the person is hiding in the territory of Norway or Iceland, the same court will issue
the arrest warrant pursuant to the international instrument under review. For the Member
15
States, we appreciate that it is possible to issue both warrants, considering the possible
movement of the requested person throughout the territory of the European Union or Norway
and Iceland. Where the issuing State is Norway or Iceland, and the checks carried out by their
competent bodies reveal that the requested person is in the territory of a Member State, the
legal bodies of the two States will issue an arrest warrant that will be transmitted for
execution to the said State.
We hereby set forth that all the critical comments laid down, establishing the need to
supplement the regulation with new provisions, point at issues related to procedure and to the
need of recognition of the judicial decision rendered by the competent judicial authorities of
the issuing Member State, by the executing Member State. The establishment of new legal
rules in this area would knock out the possibility of refusal to execute an arrest warrant by
claiming the lack of clear provisions.
It is fairly clear that the piece of legislation in question leaves it to the States concerned
to settle any disputes in this matter, normal and necessary situation as it is, but insufficient as
we judge it.
Conclusions
In our doctrine it was rightfully argued that extradition is the most important form of
international judicial cooperation in criminal matters, being applied over time, in different
ways
14
.
Because Norway and Iceland are not part of the European Union, the European arrest
warrant could not be applied, which is why, for the surrender of questionable evidence or
convicted persons it was found a new way, namely the surrender pursuant to the arrest
warrant.
The adoption of the international instrument under review came into prominence as an
objective necessity, given the proliferation of crime, the international character of organized
crime and the permanent trend to avoid criminal liability by perpetrators of crimes, using the
most sophisticated methods.
The arrest warrant established under the international instrument under review should not
have been confused with the European arrest warrant, nor with the arrest warrant issued by a
court in any case.
Thus, according to the doctrine and the Framework Decision, the European arrest
warrant is a judicial decision issued by a competent judicial authority of a Member State of
the European Union, with a view to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a
requested person, for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a
custodial sentence or detention order
15
.
On the other hand, within the framework of criminal proceedings, any court may issue a
preventive detention order or a warrant for the execution of a custodial sentence or detention
order.
The arrest warrant issued pursuant to the international instrument under review
constitutes a judicial decision, which may be taken by the judicial authorities of any Member
State of the European Union or by the judicial authorities of Norway or Iceland, for criminal
14
See, A. Boroi, I. Rusu, Cooperarea judicia ră internaŃională în materie penală, Curs master,
(International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Master Course), C.H. Beck Publishing House,
Bucharest, 2008, p. 114.
15
Ibidem, p. 304.
16
prosecution or for the execution of a custodial sentence, against an individual absconding
from criminal prosecution or the execution of a custodial sentence and who is hiding in the
territory of a Member State or Norway or Iceland.
Although the international instrument fails to provide, we judge that the procedure of
issuing an arrest warrant is specific to the field, that is, until its issuance, other judicial
activities should be carried out, which vary depending on the issuing State (if it is a member
of the European Union or whether it is Norway or Iceland).
As a general conclusion, we argue that the establishment of the arrest warrant (including
all the critical comments put forward herein), is an important step in the work of preventing
and fighting crime at European level.
In its capacity as a Member State of the European Union, Romania must fully implement
the provisions of the Agreement, in accordance with its domestic law.
References:
1. A. Boroi, I. Rusu, Cooperarea judiciară internaŃională în materie penală, Curs
master, (International Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, Master Course), C.H. Beck
Publishing House, Bucharest, 2008.
2. I. Rusu, M.I.Rusu, Extrădarea activă (Active Extradition), Revista de Drept Penal
(The Criminal Law Review) No. 3/2010.
3. I. Rusu, Mandatul european de arestare, în urma modificărilor aduse de Legea nr.
222/2008 (The European Arrest Warrant, following Amendments under Law No. 222/2008),
Caiete de Drept Penal (Criminal Law Books) No. 1/2009.
4. I. Rusu, Transferul de proceduri în materie penală (The Transfer of Proceedings in
Criminal Matters), Dreptul (Law) No. 6/2009.
5. M.I. Rusu, I. Rusu, ParticularităŃile executării mandatului european de arestare în
cazul infracŃiunilor transfrontaliere (Particularities of Execution of the European Arrest
Warrant in the case of Cross-border Crime), Dreptul (Law) No. 9/2011.
6. I. Rusu, M. I. Rusu, ObservaŃii critice referitoare la aplicarea principiului
recunoaşterii reciproce în cazul hotărârilor judecătoreşti care impun pedepse sau măsuri
privative de libertate, în scopul executării lor într-un stat membru al Uniunii Europene,
(Critical comments relating to the application of the principle of mutual recognition of
judgments imposing custodial sentences or detention orders, for the purpose of their
execution in a Member State of the European Union), Revista Dreptul (Law Review) No.
2/2010.