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CJEU - C 399/11 / Judgment

Stefano Melloni v Ministerio Fiscal

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
General Court (Grand Chamber)
Decision date:
26/02/2013
Key facts of the case:
  1. This request for a preliminary ruling concerns the interpretation and, if necessary, the validity of Article 4a(1) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (OJ 2002 L 190, p. 1), as amended by Council Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA of 26 February 2009 (OJ 2009 L 81, p. 24) (‘Framework Decision 2002/584’). It also asks the Court to examine, if necessary, the issue of whether a Member State may refuse to execute a European arrest warrant on the basis of Article 53 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) on grounds of infringement of the fundamental rights of the person concerned guaranteed by the national constitution.
  2. The request has been made in proceedings between Mr Melloni and the Ministerio Fiscal concerning the execution of a European arrest warrant issued by the Italian authorities for the execution of a prison sentence handed down by judgment in absentia against Mr Melloni.
Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:
  1. Article 4a(1) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States, as amended by Council Framework Decision 2009/299/JHA of 26 February 2009, must be interpreted as precluding the executing judicial authorities, in the circumstances specified in that provision, from making the execution of a European arrest warrant issued for the purposes of executing a sentence conditional upon the conviction rendered in absentia being open to review in the issuing Member State.
  2. Article 4a(1) of Framework Decision 2002/584, as amended by Framework Decision 2009/299, is compatible with the requirements under Articles 47 and 48(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
  3. Article 53 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as not allowing a Member State to make the surrender of a person convicted in absentia conditional upon the conviction being open to review in the issuing Member State, in order to avoid an adverse effect on the right to a fair trial and the rights of the defence guaranteed by its constitution.