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CJEU Case C-220/18 PPU / Opinion

ML

Policy area:
Justice, freedom and security
Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Advocate General
Type:
Opinion
Decision date:
04/07/2018

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA — European arrest warrant — Grounds for refusal to execute — Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Article 4 — Prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment — Conditions of detention in the issuing Member State.

Outcome of the case:

In the light of the foregoing considerations, I propose that the Court reply as follows to the questions referred for a preliminary ruling by the Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht in Bremen (Higher Regional Court, Bremen, Germany):

Articles 1(3), 5 and 6(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, in conjunction with Article 4 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, must be interpreted as meaning that:

  1. The existence of domestic legal remedies which effectively guarantee, in practice, protection of the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment with regard to conditions of detention is a factor of particular relevance for the purpose of discounting the risk of such treatment as a result of systemic or general deficiencies affecting certain groups of persons or certain prisons. 
  2. In a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, in which the recent creation of legal rules for guaranteeing the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment as a result of the conditions of detention in the issuing Member State may not yet have become fully effective, to the point of having rendered exceptional the risk of infringement of that right, the executing judicial authority is justified in concerning itself with the conditions in which the person sought will be incarcerated.
  3. The executing judicial authority must also examine, as a particularly relevant factor, the assurance, if any, which has been provided by the competent administrative or judicial authority of the issuing Member State, by means of which a commitment is given that the person sought will not suffer inhuman or degrading treatment during his incarceration. As the expression of an obligation which has been formally assumed, that assurance may be relied on, if it is breached, before the judicial authority of the issuing Member State.
  4. The relevant information for assessing whether the person sought is at risk of suffering inhuman or degrading treatment as a result of his particular conditions of detention must, in principle, be requested and obtained from the issuing judicial authority. Information accepted or endorsed by the issuing judicial authority must take precedence in the assessment to be made by the executing judicial authority.
  5. Prisons in respect of which supplementary information should be requested are those in which it is foreseeable that the person sought will be detained for the purpose of serving the sentence imposed on him.
  6. If the issuing judicial authority does not furnish the executing judicial authority with the information requested by the latter under Article 15(2) of Framework Decision 2002/584, the executing judicial authority may notify the issuing judicial authority that, in those circumstances, the surrender procedure will not continue.