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CJEU C-492/18 / PPU Judgment

REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the rechtbank Amsterdam (District Court, Amsterdam, Netherlands),

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (First Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
12/02/2019

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA — European arrest warrant — Article 12 — Keeping a person in detention — Article 17 — Time limits for adoption of the decision to execute the European arrest warrant — National legislation providing for automatic suspension of detention 90 days after arrest — Interpretation in conformity with EU law — Suspension of time limits — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Article 6 — Right to liberty and security — Differing interpretations of national legislation — Clarity and predictability

Outcome of the case:

Having regard to all of the above considerations, the answer to the question referred is that

  • Framework Decision 2002/584 must be interpreted as precluding a national provision, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which lays down a general and unconditional obligation to release a requested person arrested pursuant to a European arrest warrant as soon as a period of 90 days from that person’s arrest has elapsed, where there is a very serious risk of that person absconding and that risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by the imposition of appropriate measures, and that
  • Article 6 of the Charter must be interpreted as precluding national case-law which allows the requested person to be kept in detention beyond that 90-day period, on the basis of an interpretation of that national provision according to which that period is suspended when the executing judicial authority decides to refer a question to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling, or to await the reply to a request for a preliminary ruling made by another executing judicial authority, or to postpone the decision on surrender on the ground that there could be, in the issuing Member State, a real risk of inhuman or degrading detention conditions, in so far as that case-law does not ensure that that national provision is interpreted in conformity with Framework Decision 2002/584 and entails variations that could result in different periods of continued detention.

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Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States must be interpreted as precluding a national provision, such as that at issue in the main proceedings, which lays down a general and unconditional obligation to release a requested person arrested pursuant to a European arrest warrant as soon as a period of 90 days from that person’s arrest has elapsed, where there is a very serious risk of that person absconding and that risk cannot be reduced to an acceptable level by the imposition of appropriate measures.

Article 6 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as precluding national case-law which allows the requested person to be kept in detention beyond that 90-day period, on the basis of an interpretation of that national provision according to which that period is suspended when the executing judicial authority decides to refer a question to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, or to await the reply to a request for a preliminary ruling made by another executing judicial authority, or to postpone the decision on surrender on the ground that there could be, in the issuing Member State, a real risk of inhuman or degrading detention conditions, in so far as that case-law does not ensure that that national provision is interpreted in conformity with Framework Decision 2002/584 and entails variations that could result in different periods of continued detention.