Key facts of the case:
Request for a preliminary ruling from the Szombathelyi Törvényszék.
Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in criminal matters — Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA — Taking account in new criminal proceedings of a previous conviction in another Member State — Special procedure for recognition of a conviction in another Member State — Review and legal reclassification of the earlier decision — Principle of mutual recognition — Article 82(1) TFEU.
Outcome of the case:
In the light of the above considerations, I propose that the Court should answer the questions referred by the Törvényszék Szombathelyi (Szombathely Court, Hungary) as follows:
- Council Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA of 26 February 2009 on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between Member States and Council Decision 2009/316/JHA of 6 April 2009 on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315 must be interpreted as precluding the implementation of national legislation establishing a national procedure for the recognition by the court of a Member State of a final judicial decision handed down by a court of another Member State convicting a person for the commission of an offence.
- In accordance with that framework decision and that decision, the central authority of the Member State of the person’s nationality must enter in the criminal record convictions handed down by the courts of the convicting Member State directly on the basis of the transmission by the central authority of the convicting Member State, via ECRIS, of the codified information relating to those convictions. In those circumstances, the entry of such convictions cannot depend on the prior application of a procedure for judicial recognition of those convictions, such as the Hungarian special procedure, still less on the communication to the Member State of the person’s nationality of the decision convicting the person concerned for the purpose of such recognition.
- Council Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA of 24 July 2008 on taking account of convictions in the Member States of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings must be interpreted as precluding the possibility that it should be a prerequisite of account being taken, in a Member State, of a previous conviction handed down by a court of another Member State that a national procedure for prior recognition of that conviction by the courts with jurisdiction in the former Member State be implemented.
- It is for the national court, by taking the whole body of domestic law into consideration and applying the interpretative methods recognised by it, to interpret the provisions of national law at issue in the main proceeding, so far as is possible, in the light of the wording and the purpose of Framework Decision 2009/315, Decision 2009/316 and Framework Decision 2008/675. If such an interpretation were to prove impossible, the referring court would be required to refrain from applying those national provisions contrary to EU law.