The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) 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.' The EAW is intended to speed up the extradition process between member states of the European Union (EU) by removing the inherent causes of delay under the formal extradition procedure. The major difference between the formal extradition procedure and the surrender process under the EAW is that the court hearings under the new process perform an administrative function to check that the person to be surrendered is the same person in the warrant and that the EAW form is completed correctly, also to check whether any of the bars to extradition applies and whether there is a breach of the defendant's rights under the convention; unlike the formal extradition procedure, the rule on double criminality applies and the court will examine evidence against the defendant before making the decision whether or not to extradite.
[...] His appeal was dismissed but it took nearly two years for an extradition hearing and he was already in prison in the UK for offences pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001. As Lord Bingham observed, Part 1 of the 2003 Act was designed to provide a ‘simpler, quicker more effective procedure' for the extradition of persons between member states of the European Union. In this case and the cases discussed above the intention of the EAW has not been achieved. [...]
[...] He was accused of participation in terrorist organization responsible in the Madrid bombing of 11/3/04; and his extradition back to Spain took over two years even though the arrest warrant request met the formal requirements of the Framework Decision. It was the provision under s64 and of the 2003 Act that was the subject of appeal. Dabas argued that the requirement under s64 of the 2003 Act, which required a certificate to be issued with the warrant, was not met and such a certificate is not defined by the 2003 Act and was therefore unclear. His appeal went all the way to the House of Lords before it was finally dismissed. [...]
[...] Peers EU Justice and Home Affairs Law (2nd edn OUP, Oxford 2006) Reports and Journals Anand Doobay Implementation of the European Arrest Warrant Scheme Justice Conference on Extradition, Deportation and Rendition 31st March 2006 Anand Doobay ‘European Arrest Warrant' JUSTICE/Sweet & Maxwell 11th Annual Human Rights Law Conference (22nd October 2009) Anand Doobay ‘Extradition and mutual assistance – a changing landscape' The Criminal LAWYER (July/August 2006) Addendum to note to the Working Party on Cooperation in Criminal Matters (Expert on the EAW) (Brussels July 2005) Commission report on implementation of EAW – (2004 report and 2007 report) David Barnett, ‘How the European Arrest Warrant works' ‘The European Arrest Warrant allows crime suspects to be extradited on the say-so of a foreign country'. [...]
[...] It is obvious that the common grounds for appeal under the EAW scheme are based on the requirement stipulated under the 2003 Act. It is explicable why the EU Commission has criticized the UK for including a ground of refusal based on the International Convention, given that the defendants' convention rights are protected under the Framework Decision and the Human Rights Act 1998. The Commission stated that, “the member states could not rely on international agreement preceding the EC treaty to avoid its community law obligations and that by analogy these doctrines apply to Framework decisions under the EU Treaty”. [...]
[...] This further illustrates that in practice, the extradition hearing in the UK can easily be exploited to frustrate the surrender of fugitive under the EAW scheme. In Boudhiba v Spain an EAW request from Spain asking the UK to surrender the defendant, who was accused of offences of belonging to a proscribed organization, terrorism and forgery of administrative documents and trafficking. Similar arguments were submitted; the arrest warrant did not comply with s2(3) of the 2003 Act; it was invalid because it did not comply with s.2 of the Act, and the conduct alleged, did not amount to extradition offences; the request of the Spanish government was an abuse of process and so on. [...]
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