Germany: German Constitutional court revokes national regulation implementing European Arrest Warrant

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Ruling on a challenge by the German national Mamoun Darkazanli, who was facing an extradition request from Spain on al-Qaida terrorist charges, the highest German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has declared the European Arrest Warrant void. The court's press release reads:

"According to the Court, the Act encroaches upon the freedom from extradition (Article 16.2 of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz - GG)) in a disproportionate manner because the legislature has not exhausted the margins afforded to it by the Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant in such a way that the implementation of the Framework Decision for incorporation into national law shows the highest possible consideration in respect of the fundamental right concerned.

Moreover, the European Arrest Warrant Act infringes the guarantee of recourse to a court (Article 19.4 of the Basic Law) because there is no possibility of challenging the judicial decision that grants extradition. Hence, the extradition of a German citizen is not possible as long as the legislature does not adopt a new Act implementing Article 16.2 sentence 2 of the Basic Law. As a result, the constitutional complaint lodged by the complainant, who is supposed to be extradited to Spain for criminal prosecution on the basis of a European arrest warrant (Press release no. 20/2005 of 24 February 2005), was successful. The order of the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) and the judicial authority's decision that grants extradition were reversed."

Full press release: English Judgement: German
For more background information see Deutsche Welle (13.4.2005), Der Spiegel (14.3.2005), Euractiv (19.7.05) and Statewatch analysis (September 2001)

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