EU Court of Justice Clarifies the Concept of “Judicial Issuing Authority” in the European Arrest Warrant’s Procedure

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Friday, May 31, 2019
Michael Plachta

On May 27, 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union, Grand Chamber, (the Court) delivered two judgments giving its interpretation of one of the key concepts underlying the European Arrest Warrant scheme based on the 2002 Framework Decision,[2] that is, the “judicial issuing authority.” This is not the first time that the Court has been called to clarify the legal elements of the EAW procedure. Two Lithuanian nationals and one Romanian national are challenging, before the Irish courts, the execution of European arrest warrants issued by German public prosecutor’s offices and the Prosecutor General of Lithuania for the purposes of criminal prosecution. They are accused of crimes described as murder and grievous bodily injury (OG), armed robbery (PF) and organized or armed robbery (PI). OG brought an action before the High Court challenging the validity of that European arrest warrant, on the ground, inter alia, that the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Lübeck is not a ”judicial authority” within the meaning of Article 6(1) of Framework Decision 2002/584.