EAW and Fundamental Rights

'Intersections of the Application of the European Arrest Warrant and the Protection of Fundamental Rights'

cofunded by European Union


The project is being implemented by EIPA Luxembourg - European Centre for Judges and Lawyers (ECJL) in partnership with KSSIP – Krajowa Szkola Sadownictwa I Prokuratury in Poland and the European Criminal Bar Association.

The EU has been active in adopting legislation in the field of criminal law in order to facilitate judicial cooperation among EU Member States, to fight serious and organised crime and in general to tackle cross-border criminal activity. While there are a number of legislative instruments at place, it is crucial that practitioners, judges and prosecutors are not only aware of the existence of EU legislation, but understand and apply the relevant European – level instruments. This is especially true for mutual recognition instruments which aim to put cross border judicial cooperation in criminal matters at a truly different context, requiring mutual trust and more intensive cooperation both from national authorities and legal practitioners. The leading mutual recognition instrument, the European Arrest Warrant, is certainly the pivotal EU criminal law instrument.

However the application of the European Arrest Warrant has been shadowed from time to time by concerns of fundamental rights protection in the issuing Member State, whether due regard is taken of the procedural guarantees applicable to suspected and accused and if the principle of proportionality was observed. The EU has been particularly keen in addressing these concerns, and under the ‘Stockholm roadmap’’, adopted a series of instruments elevating the procedural rights of suspected and accused persons in criminal proceedings.


  • Firstly, to present the EAW as the leading mutual recognition instrument, and to discuss the issues related to issuing and executing of EAWs.
  • Secondly, to show the fundamental rights context in which the EAW eventually operates, and to discuss the related EU secondary legislation.
  • Thirdly and finally, each seminar will give a clear occasion for judges and prosecutors to improve the cooperation amongst each other by understanding the elements of EU law applicable to each of them and at the same time learning about teach others’ jurisdictions.

It is in this vein that the project aims to contribute to the development of mutual trust among legal practitioners being the fundamental criteria in establishing an EU area of criminal justice.

Target group

The target audience of the project will be legal practitioners having a criminal law background and working in the criminal justice system either in the capacity of a judge, prosecutor or a defence lawyer. The participants’ responsibilities and prerogatives as judges and prosecutors will be illustrated through practical analysis of specific instruments and examples of their application in different Member States. Moreover, they will be informed on the latest tools adopted or under discussion as well as receive an overview of the fundamental characteristics of the new institutional processes governing the area.

Training calendar

The project will consist of a series of three seminars:

Proportionality and the procedural guarantees in the context of the EAW
Warsaw, 29-30 November 2016

The purpose of the seminar is two-fold: firstly, to provide participants with information on the use, domestic application and evaluation of the EAW. In this vein, the training will seek to cover issues on how to issue an EAW, how to refuse an EAW, how to ensure that the principle of proportionality is applied, in considering whether to issue an EAW, and what are the technicalities in processing an EAW. Secondly, the seminar will seek to discuss the procedural position of the suspected/accused person subject to the EAW as well as the specificities of the EAW cases that defense attorneys should pay a particular attention to.
Download: Programme | Project rules | Seminar material | Background material

Practical aspects of issuing and executing a European Arrest Warrant
Lisbon, 28 February - 1 March 2017

The purpose of the seminar is two-fold: firstly, to provide participants with information on the use, domestic application and evaluation of the EAW. Emphasis will be made on how to issue an EAW, how the various grounds of refusals are to be understood by national judiciaries and what are the issues that defence lawyers may want to look at. The practical administration of EAWs will be complemented, however, with the discussion of constitutional and fundamental rights issues that posed difficulties in applying the instrument and gave rise to litigation before both the Court of Justice of the European Union and the national courts.
Download: Programme  | Seminar material  |  Background material

The role of the CJEU in interpreting the EAW and securing fundamental rights
Luxembourg, 30-31 May 2017

The seminar provides an overview of the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in shaping and enforcing EU criminal law. The seminar will discuss in detail the preliminary reference procedure through which national judges can refer questions of interpretation and validity of EU law to the CJEU, where specific reference to criminal law issues will be made. The seminar will duly focus on the CJEU’s role of interpretation in shaping EU criminal law. In this vein, both the CJEU’s influence on doctrinal themes of criminal law, the ne bis in idem principle in particular, along with fundamental rights standards in criminal procedures as set by the CJEU will be examined. The relevance of the individual complaints procedure before the ECtHR will be discussed and its repercussions to parallel national and CJEU procedures. The discussions related to the CJEU will be complemented with a visit to the CJEU in Luxembourg.
Download: Programme  | Seminar material  |  Background material



EIPA Luxembourg - European Centre for Judges and Lawyers
Ms Christiane Lamesch
Tel: +352 426 230 302
E-mail: c.lamesch@eipa.eu