National Courts and EU Law
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National Courts and EU Law

New Issues, Theories and Methods

Edited by Bruno de Witte, Juan A. Mayoral, Urszula Jaremba, Marlene Wind and Karolina Podstawa

National Courts and EU Law examines both how and why national courts and judges are involved in the process of legal integration within the European Union. As well as reviewing conventional thinking, the book presents new legal and empirical insights into the issue of judicial behaviour in this process. The expert contributors provide a critical analysis of the key questions, examining the role of national courts in relation to the application of various EU legal instruments.
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Chapter 10: A predicament for domestic courts: caught between the European Arrest Warrant and fundamental rights

Aida Torres Pérez


The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is one of the most important mechanisms for judicial cooperation in criminal matters. This mechanism was laid out in the Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (hereinafter, FD), following the terrorist attacks in the United States on 11 September 2001. The main goal was the introduction of a simplified system for the surrender between Member States of suspected or sentenced persons for the purposes of prosecution or execution of criminal sentences. The EAW is premised upon the principle of mutual recognition of judicial decisions, which implies that domestic courts will abstain from second-guessing decisions issued by judicial authorities of other Member States. In turn, mutual recognition presupposes mutual trust among Member States, particularly regarding their criminal justice systems and the respect for fundamental rights. And yet, the diversity of criminal proceedings and failure to ensure a certain level of rights protection hampers mutual trust and thereby the effectiveness of the EAW. There is hence pervasive tension between the principle of mutual recognition and the protection of fundamental rights.

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