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Europe’s most wanted? Recalibrating Trust in the European Arrest Warrant System. CEPS Paper Liberty and Security in Europe 55/21 March 2013

Carrera, Sergio and Guild, Elspeth and Hernanz, Nicholas (2013) Europe’s most wanted? Recalibrating Trust in the European Arrest Warrant System. CEPS Paper Liberty and Security in Europe 55/21 March 2013. [Policy Paper]

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    This paper assesses the uses and misuses in the application of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system in the European Union. It examines the main quantitative results of this extradition system achieved between 2005 and 2011 on the basis of the existing statistical knowledge on its implementation at EU official levels. The EAW has been anchored in a high level of ‘mutual trust’ between the participating states’ criminal justice regimes and authorities. This reciprocal confidence, however, has been subject to an increasing number of challenges resulting from its practical application, presenting a dual conundrum: 1. Principle of proportionality: Who are the competent judicial authorities cooperating with each other and ensuring that there are sufficient impartial controls over the necessity and proportionality of the decisions on the issuing and execution of EAWs? 2. Principle of division of powers: How can criminal justice authorities be expected to handle different criminal judicial traditions in what is supposed to constitute a ‘serious’ or ‘minor’ crime in their respective legal settings and ‘who’ is ultimately to determine (divorced from political considerations) when is it duly justified to make the EAW system operational? It is argued that the next generation of the EU’s criminal justice cooperation and the EAW need to recognise and acknowledge that the mutual trust premise upon which the European system has been built so far is no longer viable without devising new EU policy stakeholders’ structures and evaluation mechanisms. These should allow for the recalibration of mutual trust and mistrust in EU justice systems in light of the experiences of the criminal justice actors and practitioners having a stake in putting the EAW into daily effect. Such a ‘bottom-up approach’ should be backed up with the best impartial and objective evaluation, an improved system of statistical collection and an independent qualitative assessment of its implementation. This should be placed as the central axis of a renewed EAW framework which should seek to better ensure the accountability, impartial (EU-led) scrutiny and transparency of member states’ application of the EAW in light of the general principles and fundamental rights constituting the foundations of the European system of criminal justice cooperation.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > common foreign & security policy 1993--European Global Strategy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Liberty and Security in Europe
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2013 09:53
    Number of Pages: 46
    Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 09:53

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