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CJEU: Execution of a European arrest warrant must be deferred if there is risk of inhuman or degrading treatment

If the existence of that risk cannot be discounted within a reasonable period, the authority responsible for the execution of the warrant must decide whether the surrender procedure should be brought to an end.

In Case C-404/15, a Hungarian investigating magistrate issued two European arrest warrants with respect to Mr Pál Aranyosi, a Hungarian national, so that a criminal prosecution could be brought for two offences of forced entry and theft, allegedly committed by Mr Aranyosi in Hungary.

In Case C-659/15 PPU, a Romanian court issued a European arrest warrant with respect to Mr Robert Căldăraru to secure the enforcement in Romania of a prison sentence of one year and eight months imposed for driving without a driving licence.

The two men having been located in Germany, it is the task of the German authorities to examine the warrants.

The Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht in Bremen (Higher Regional Court of Bremen, Germany), which has to decide whether those warrants should be executed, found that the detention conditions to which Mr Aranyosi and Mr Căldăraru might be subject in the Hungarian and Romanian prisons respectively were contrary to fundamental rights, in particular the provision of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibiting inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In judgments of 10 June 2014 and 10 March 2015 the European Court of Human Rights held that Romania and Hungary had infringed fundamental rights due to the prison overcrowding which is characteristic of their prisons.

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