Organized by the T.M.C. Asser Instituut, this project analyzed in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute the implementation of the EU Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant in all Member States of the EU. The Max Planck Institute prepared the German country report and thereby had early access to the entire database, which was subsequently published as an electronic information system in the Internet. The Institute was also integrally involved in the project’s final conference.
Project category: Research project Status of project: Completed Organizational status: Institute project Department: Criminal Law (Prof. Sieber) Project duration: Project start: 2004
Project end: 2007
The Council Framework Decision of June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and surrender procedures between Member States is the most important instrument to date building on the principle of mutual recognition and thus seeking to create effective transnational criminal law. The Framework Decision serves to create an EU-wide “surrender zone” in which extradition is no longer necessary. Within this zone, a judicial authority of one State can petition another State for a simple and expeditious surrender of sentenced or suspected persons residing there. One of the innovations is the elimination of verification of double criminality in Art. 2 § 2. Even the surrender of a State’s own citizen is now possible in principle. Of considerable importance was the fact that implementation and enforcement on the national level took place in a uniform and transparent manner in order to achieve EU-wide application of the objectives contained in the Framework Decision. However, in some countries the specificity of the catalogue of offenses and the surrender of a State’s own citizens led to constitutional problems (Germany, Belgium, and Poland).
The "European Arrest Warrant" project aimed to facilitate uniform and transparent implementation of the new surrender procedure in 27 EU Member States as well as in Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Croatia. The primary goal was to promote communication, practical implementation, and academic research in the area of judicial cooperation in criminal matters. To this end, information on the European arrest warrant was analyzed, an account made of its implementation and application on the national level, and an EU-wide network of correspondents and experts created. The project was sponsored by a "European" consortium that included, along with the T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Max Planck Institute, additional experienced partners – such as the European Criminal Bar Association (ECBA), the Ministry of Justice in London, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Lund (Sweden).
The project, financed in part by the EU Commission within the framework of the AGIS Program, has its own Internet site. It involved the close cooperation of the correspondents, the members of the Research Council, and the Steering Committee. The correspondents worked on a uniform catalogue of questions and prepared country reports, based on a common outline, on national implementation laws. These reports enabled legal comparisons to be drawn among the individual Member States and afforded the Max Planck Institute the opportunity to further develop its own research goals.
The project had a correspondent in almost every EU Member State. In addition to providing a compilation of all national implementation laws (in English where possible) and the Council's information on the implementation phase in the individual countries, the correspondents also provided topical bibliographies as well as commentaries on the significant legal decisions of the highest courts. Furthermore, in almost all the countries, country reports were prepared that contained an extensive analysis of any implementation and application problems. In June 2006, a comprehensive final conference, in which all participating States collaborated, took place in Noordwijkerhout (Netherlands). The conference afforded an opportunity for the exchange on the international level of national experiences with the European arrest warrant and a comparison of all the findings. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut carried out a comparative legal analysis of the country information.