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German public prosecutor’s offices do not provide a sufficient guarantee of independence from the executive for the purposes of issuing a European arrest warrant

German public prosecutor’s offices do not provide a sufficient guarantee of independence from the executive for the purposes of issuing a European arrest warrant

By a judgement of 27/5/2019, the CJEU ruled that German public prosecutor’s offices do not provide a sufficient guarantee of independence from the executive for the purposes of issuing a European arrest warrant.

The Court held that the concept of an ‘issuing judicial authority’, within the meaning of the framework decision, does not include public prosecutor’s offices of a Member State, such as those of Germany, which are exposed to the risk of being subject, directly or indirectly, to directions or instructions in a specific case from the executive, such as aMinister for Justice, in connection with the adoption of a decision to issue a European arrest warrant.

However, by another judgement dated 27/5/2019, it considered that that concept includes the Prosecutor General of a Member State, such as that of Lithuania, who, whilst institutionally independent of the judiciary, is responsible for the conduct of criminal prosecutions and whose legal position affords him a guarantee of independence from the executive in connection with the issuing of a European arrest warrant.

 

Cf. CJUE press release on Judgments in Joined Cases C-508/18OG (Pros.’s office of Lübeck) & C-82/19PPU PI (Pros.’s office of Zwickau) & in Case C-509/18PF (Pros. General of Lithuania), https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2019-05/cp190068en.pdf