EU lawyer to give opinion on arrest warrants, Polish judicial reforms

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European Union

A top EU lawyer would render his opinion on whether a European arrest warrant issued by Poland should generally be executed by other EU countries, given doubts about the independence of the Polish judiciary.

Advocate-general Campos Sachez-Bordona would issue his opinion on Thursday and the court could follow his arguments in its ruling, but it does not have to.

An Amsterdam court had referred the matter to the European Court of Justice at the end of August, pointing to Poland’s controversial judicial reforms.

The Amsterdam court had complained that the Polish courts had come under increasing political pressure since 2017.

The court suspects that judicial independence had been eroded to such an extent that courts could not act independently of the Polish government and parliament.

The backdrop of the case was an arrest warrant issued by Poland in 2015 against a Pole who smuggled around 200 kg of hard and soft drugs from the Netherlands to his home country.

In a similar case involving Ireland in 2018, the ECJ ruled that European authorities could suspend a Polish arrest warrant, but only after assessing individual cases.

The Amsterdam court had requested a more general ruling on Polish arrest warrants in cases of “real danger’’ of an unfair trial due to courts’ “structural and fundamental flaws.’’ (dpa/NAN)

– Nov. 12, 2020 @ 12:05 GMT |

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