EU: Court of Justice sets out grounds on which Irish courts must consider refusing European Arrest Warrant issued by Poland


In March the Irish High Court asked the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) for a ruling in a European Arrest Warrant case in which the Polish authorities had requested the surrender of a Polish man for drug trafficking.

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The Irish High Court referred the case to the CJEU because of its concerns that changes to the judicial system introduced by the current Polish government are "so immense" that they have "systematically damaged" the "common value of the rule of law."

The ECJ has now handed down its ruling, which sets out what the Irish courts must take into consideration if they are to refuse to surrender the wanted individual - on the same day that Amnesty International has warned that attempts to "further undermine judicial independence" in Poland "must be resolutely rejected."

See the CJEU press release: A judicial authority called upon to execute a European arrest warrant must refrain from giving effect to it if it considers that there is a real risk that the individual concerned would suffer a breach of his fundamental right to an independent tribunal and, therefore, of the essence of his fundamental right to a fair trial on account of deficiencies liable to affect the independence of the judiciary in the issuing Member State (pdf)

And the judgment: Case C-216/18 PPU (pdf)

Poland: Attempts to oust the current Supreme Court president must be rejected (Amnesty, link)

Coverage of the Irish High Court ruling:High Court judge wants ruling over 'immense' law changes in Poland (RTÉ, link)

And the Irish High Court judgment: Full-text of ruling (pdf)

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