CJEU: Brexit and European arrest warrant

20 Sep 2018 12:35 PM

The notification, by the United Kingdom, of its intention to withdraw from the EU does not have the consequence that execution of a European arrest warrant issued by that Member State must be refused or postponed.

In the absence of substantial grounds to believe that the person who is the subject of that warrant is at risk of being deprived of rights recognised by the Charter and the Framework Decision following the withdrawal from the EU of the issuing Member State, the warrant must be executed while that State remains a member of the EU.

In 2016 the United Kingdom issued two European arrest warrants (‘EAWs’) in respect of RO (the first in January 2016 and the second in May 2016) for the purposes of conducting prosecutions of the offences of murder, arson and rape. RO was arrested in Ireland on the basis of these arrest warrants and has been in custody since 3 February 2016. RO raised objections to his surrender by Ireland to the United Kingdom on the basis, amongst other things, of issues related to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.

The High Court (Ireland) ruled against RO on all his points of objection, other than the issues of the consequences of Brexit. It therefore asks the Court of Justice whether, in light of the fact that the United Kingdom gave notice on 29 March 2017 of its intention to withdraw from the EU, and of the uncertainty as to the arrangements which will be in place after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, it is required to refuse to surrender to the United Kingdom a person subject to an EAW whose surrender would otherwise be mandatory.

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