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Minister for Justice and Equality v. L.M., Case C-216/18, CJEU (Grand Chamber), 25 July 2018


Judicial cooperation in criminal matters. European arrest warrant. Surrender procedures between Member States. Conditions for execution. Protection of fundamental rights. Right to a fair trial. Independence of the judiciary.

Normative references

Art. 6 ECHR
Art. 47 EUCFR
2002/584/JHA: Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States 


1. Both the principle of mutual trust between the Member States and the principle of mutual recognition, on which the obligation to execute the European arrest warrant is based, may be subject to limitations arising from exceptional circumstances. In particular, the refusal by the executing judicial authority to complete the procedure must be considered legitimate where the surrender may result in a violation of the fundamental rights of the interested person.
2. Article 1(3) of Council Framework Decision 2002/584/JHA of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member States must be interpreted as meaning that, where the executing judicial authority – called upon to decide whether a person in respect of whom a European arrest warrant has been issued for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution is to be surrendered, has material indicating that there is a real risk of breach of the fundamental right to a fair trial guaranteed by the second paragraph of Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, on account of systemic or generalised deficiencies so far as concerns the independence of the issuing Member State’s judiciary – that authority must determine, specifically and precisely, whether, having regard to his personal situation, as well as to the nature of the offence for which he is being prosecuted and the factual context that form the basis of the European arrest warrant, there are substantial grounds for believing that that person will run such a risk if he is surrendered to that State.


The Luxembourg Court gave a preliminary ruling on the request submitted by the Irish High Court, which was called upon to evaluate the execution of the arrest warrant issued by the Polish judicial authorities.