The Enforcement of the European Arrest Warrant: A Comparison between Spain and the UK
European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, pp. 263-307, 2007
45 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2011
Date Written: July 1, 2007
If there is a ‘star’ rule on judicial cooperation in criminal matters, it is the Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant and the Surrender Procedures between Member States (EAW). Its popularity has increased following the deplorable attacks in the United States of America on 11 September 2001, because it is seen as an effective mechanism in the fight against international terrorism. The Council Framework Decision was presented exactly 8 days after the 9/11 attacks5 and agreement was reached by Member States in their political negotiations after a mere three months. It also constitutes ‘the first concrete measure’ adopted on the basis of mutual recognition of judicial decisions, a principle established in October 1999 by the Tampere Council as ‘the cornerstone of judicial cooperation in the Union.’ The same principle is also recognized by the European Constitution and was recently reinforced by the European Council in the Hague Programme (2005). It is foreseen in the explanatory memorandum that the EAW will replace the current system of extradition between Member States – the Convention – which has neither been widely ratified nor particularly successful.
The Council Framework Decision is intended as a juridical instrument in the field of judicial cooperation on criminal matters, and similar to the Directives, should be implemented in the national law of each member state, in this case prior to 31 December 2003. Spain promptly adapted the new rule in the form of Law3/2003 14 March, on the European Arrest Warrant and Surrender (LOEDE). The UK has also met its obligations in good time by approving the Extradition Act 2003 (EA), on the 20 November, which has been in force since 1 January 2004. This comparative study sets out the special regulation of the ‘Euro-warrant,’ making particular reference to procedural aspects contained in Spanish and UK legislation. It makes specific reference to the competent judicial authorities that are authorised to issue and execute EAWs, to the development of judicial proceedings concerning the issue and execution of this instrument and, in addition, to the growing number of bibliographical sources and judicial experience on the practical application of these new rules.
Keywords: European judicial cooperation in criminal matters, European Arrest Warrant, Extradition, Spain, UK
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