The European Arrest Warrant
In 2002 the European Union created the European Arrest Warrant (EAW), a fast-track system for surrendering people from one European country to another to face trial or serve a prison sentence.
The EAW has removed many of the traditional safeguards in the extradition process. If a court in one country demands a person’s arrest and extradition, courts and police in other countries must act on it. In 2009, this fast track extradition system was used to extradite over 4,000 people across the EU (700 people from the UK alone).
Although it was intended to deliver justice, the current system is actually resulting in cases of serious injustice. Our own casework repeatedly demonstrates the human cost of EU extradition. Fair Trials International will continue to press for an EU extradition system which is both fair and effective. Through our Justice in Europe campaign, we are succeeding in making the case for reform.
The European Arrest Warrant – time for reform?
Fair Trials International held a constructive panel discussion on the European Arrest Warrant, at the European Parliament in Brussels on 3rd May 2011 and launched a new report on EU extradition – The European Arrest Warrant seven years on: the case for reform.
The event began with an address from Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner for Justice, followed by a panel discussion chaired by Jan Philip Albrecht MEP. Jago Russell and Catherine Heard of Fair Trials International started the debate. We would like to thank Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP, Birgit Sippel MEP and Timothy Kirkhope MEP who also participated.