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Romano Pisciotti*

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Landgericht Berlin (Germany) lodged on 5 April 2016.

Questions referred:

1. (a) Is extradition between a Member State and a third country a matter which, irrespective of the facts of the individual case, never comes within the material scope of the Treaties, with the result that the EU-law prohibition of discrimination under the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU is not to be taken into account in the application of a (literally interpreted) rule of constitutional law (in this case, the first sentence of Article 16(2) of the German Basic Law (Grundgesetz)), which prohibits extradition only of that Member State’s own nationals to third countries?

(b) If that question is answered in the affirmative: is the first question to be answered differently if the matter of extradition between a Member State and the United States of America is based on the Agreement on extradition between the European Union and the United States of America?

2. In so far as the applicability of the Treaties with regard to extradition between Member States and the United States of America is not excluded from the outset:

Is the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU and the case-law of the Court of Justice relating to that provision to be interpreted as meaning that a Member State unjustifiably breaches the prohibition of discrimination under the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU in the case where, on the basis of a rule of constitutional law (the first sentence of Article 16(2) of the Grundgesetz), it treats, in the matter of requests for extradition received from third countries, its own nationals and nationals of other EU Member States differently inasmuch as it extradites only the latter?

3. Should such cases be found to fall foul of the general prohibition of discrimination laid down in the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU:

Is the case-law of the Court of Justice to be interpreted as meaning that, in a case such as the present — in which, for extradition to be authorised by the competent authority, there must mandatorily be a prior judicial review of its legality, the result of which, however, binds the authority only if that extradition is declared to be impermissible — a mere breach of the prohibition of discrimination under the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU may itself constitute a serious breach, or must the breach be manifest?

4. If a manifest breach is not required:

Is the case-law of the Court of Justice to be interpreted as meaning that there is a priori no sufficiently serious breach in a case such as that in the main proceedings, in which, in the absence of case-law of the Court of Justice with regard to the particular type of factual situation at issue (namely, the objective applicability of the general prohibition of discrimination under the first paragraph of Article 18 TFEU to matters relating to extradition between Member States and the United States of America), the highest national executive authority can, in support of its decision, point to the fact that its decision is in line with previous decisions of national courts in the same matter?


Case Number C-191/16

Name of the parties Romano Pisciotti

Date of the judgement 2017-04-05

Court Court of Justice of the EU

Link http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=182050&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=1086060