Request for a preliminary ruling from the Rechtbank Amsterdam (Netherlands) lodged on 31 July 2020 – European arrest warrant issued against L, Other party to the proceedings: Openbaar Ministerie

(Case C-354/20)

Language of the case: Dutch

Referring court

Rechtbank Amsterdam

Parties to the main proceedings

European arrest warrant issued against: L

Other party to the proceedings: Openbaar Ministerie

Questions referred

Do Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA, 1 the second paragraph of Article 19(1) TEU and/or the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter indeed preclude the executing judicial authority from executing an EAW issued by a court where the national legislation of the issuing Member State has been amended after that EAW was issued such that the court no longer meets the requirements of effective or actual judicial protection since that legislation no longer guarantees the independence of that court?

Do Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA and the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter indeed preclude the executing judicial authority from executing an EAW when it has established that there is a real risk in the issuing Member State of breach of the fundamental right to an independent tribunal for any suspected person – and thus also for the requested person – irrespective of which courts of that Member State have jurisdiction over the proceedings to which the requested person will be subject and irrespective of the requested person’s personal situation, the nature of the offence for which he is being prosecuted and the factual context that forms the basis of the EAW, where that real risk is connected with the fact that the courts of the issuing Member State are no longer independent on account of systemic and generalised deficiencies?

Do Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA and the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter indeed preclude the executing judicial authority from executing an EAW when it has established that:

there is a real risk in the issuing Member State of breach of the fundamental right to a fair trial for any suspected person, where that risk is connected with systemic and generalised deficiencies relating to the independence of that Member State’s judiciary,

those systemic and generalised deficiencies are therefore not only liable to have negative consequences, but actually do have such consequences for the courts of that Member State with jurisdiction over the proceedings to which the requested person will be subject, and

there are therefore serious and factual grounds to believe that the requested person runs a real risk of breach of his fundamental right to an independent tribunal and, therefore, of the essence of his fundamental right to a fair trial,

even if, aside from those systemic and generalised deficiencies, the requested person has not expressed any specific concerns, and even if the requested person’s personal situation, the nature of the offences for which he is being prosecuted and the context that forms the basis of the EAW, aside from those systemic and generalised deficiencies, do not give rise to fears that the executive and/or legislature will exert concrete pressure on or influence his trial?

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1 Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States (OJ 2002 L 190, p. 1).