CJEU - C‐452/16 PPU / Opinion Openbaar Ministerie v. Halil Ibrahim Özçelik

Key facts of the case:

Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA — European arrest warrant — Article 8(1)(c) — Meaning of ‘arrest warrant or any other judicial decision’ prior to the European arrest warrant

Results (sanctions) and key consequences of the case:

  1. In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court of Justice reply to the questions referred by the rechtbank Amsterdam (Court of First Instance, Amsterdam, Netherlands) as follows:

    (1) The expression ‘judicial decision’ which appears in Article 8(1)(c) 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, is an autonomous term of EU law and is to be interpreted uniformly throughout the European Union.

    (2) A national arrest warrant, issued by a police authority and subsequently confirmed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the circumstances of this case, may be classified as a ‘judicial decision’, within the meaning of Article 8(1)(c) of the aforementioned Framework Decision, in order to serve as a basis for a subsequent European arrest warrant.

Paragraphs referring to EU Charter: 
  1. Logically, therefore, in order to distinguish that regime it is necessary to rely on the legislation of each Member State, always provided that the corresponding legal provisions relating to this matter respect the fundamental rights, as set out in the ECHR, including the right to liberty and an effective remedy established in Articles 5 and 13 of that Convention and Articles 6 and 47 of the Charter.
  1. Nor is recognition of the Public Prosecutor’s Office as a ‘judicial authority’ with the power, as regards the Framework Decision, to adopt national AWs hampered by the fact that the individual member of that institution who has issued it (or ratified the one issued by the police) may be the same as the person who represents it later on in the criminal proceedings brought against the detainee. The warnings of the European Court of Human Rights in the judgments in Schiesser v. Switzerland and Medvedyev and Others v. France, to which I have referred above, (33) are explained in the context of Article 5(1)(c) ECHR, (34) that is, for situations in which the Public Prosecutor’s Office offers an alternative to the court for deciding on whether the detainee shall remain in custody or be released. However, that is not the position in the present case since, as I have already analysed, according to the Hungarian Code of Criminal Procedure, people who are detained (on a police warrant, subsequently ratified by the Public Prosecutor’s Office) are brought before a judge or released. There is no objection, at this stage, to the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office continuing to participate in the subsequent stages of the proceedings.