5th Mar 2024

French court throws out European arrest warrant

  • EU states have been urged to implement the arrest warrant by June (Photo: EUobserver)

The difficulties of implementing the European Arrest Warrant have been demonstrated in France where a court has refused to extradite to Spain three French Basque militants.

According to Le Monde, magistrates at the court of appeal in Pau, South-West France, decided not to apply the European Arrest Warrant in this case, because part of the criminal activity took place on French soil.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The European Arrest Warrant gives Member States' judicial authorities certain leeway to refuse to apply the warrant if "the crime took place entirely or partly on the territory of the Member State executing the case".

The Pau court ruled that some of the criminal activity took place in Saint-Sébastien, in Spain, but also in Bayonne and Hendaye in France and so refused to apply the warrant.

The case demonstrates the difficulty in applying the European Arrest Warrant.

Although it was supposed to enter into force in all the "old" 15 EU states on 1 January this year, only eight had done it by that time.

Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs, Antonio Vitorino has described it as the "jewel in the crown" of European judicial legislation.

But the warrant, which has been heavily criticised by human rights campaigners for not guaranteeing the rights of suspects, has not been ratified in eight Member States (Germany, Greece, Italy, Estonia, Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and the Czech Republic).

Following the Madrid bomb attacks last March, EU states were urged to implement the EU warrant by "no later than June 2004".

The legislation is supposed to prevent criminals from being able to commit a crime in one member state and then seek shelter in another.

EU Commission clears Poland's access to up to €137bn EU funds

The European Commission has legally paved the way for Poland to access up to €137bn EU funds, following Donald Tusk's government's efforts to strengthen the independence of their judiciary and restore the rule of law in the country.

Latest News

  1. EU must overhaul Africa trade offer to parry China, warns MEP
  2. EU watchdog faults European Commission over Libya
  3. Hungary's Ukrainian refugees in two minds as relations sour
  4. The six-hour U-turn that saw the EU vote for austerity
  5. Defence, von der Leyen, women's rights, in focus This WEEK
  6. The farming lobby vs Europe's wolves
  7. EU socialists fight battle on two fronts in election campaign
  8. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us