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Peter Schotthöfer & Florian Steiner GbR

Peter Schotthöfer & Florian Steiner, a law firm established in Munich (Germany), invited Mr Adelsmayr, an Austrian physician residing in Austria, to speak in January 2015 at a conference on working conditions and litigation in the United Arab Emirates, where he had practised as an anaesthetist and intensive care physician for a number of years beginning in 2004. In 2011 proceedings were commenced in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), in the course of which the public prosecution service requested the death penalty for Mr Adelsmayr. In 2012, however, he left the United Arab Emirates. In his absence he was sentenced to life imprisonment in interim proceedings which could be resumed at any time and in which he would still be liable to the death penalty.

The referring court states that, on the date of its reference to the Court of Justice, no international arrest warrant had been issued in respect of Mr Adelsmayr. That court is uncertain as to whether the presentation in question was cancelled for reasons attributable to Mr Adelsmayr or whether his misgivings about entering German territory were well founded.

In those circumstances, the Bezirksgericht Linz (District Court, Linz, Austria) decided to stay proceedings and refer questions to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

Under Article 99 of its Rules of Procedure, where a question referred to the Court for a preliminary ruling is identical to a question on which the Court has already ruled, where the reply to such a question may be clearly deduced from existing case-law or where the answer to the question referred for a preliminary ruling admits of no reasonable doubt, the Court may at any time, on a proposal from the Judge-Rapporteur and after hearing the Advocate General, decide to rule by reasoned order. That provision must be applied in the present case.

The Court (First Chamber), hereby rules:

Article 19(2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as meaning that a request for extradition originating from a third country concerning a Union citizen who, in exercising his freedom of movement, leaves his Member State of origin in order to reside on the territory of another Member State, must be rejected by the latter Member State where that citizen runs a serious risk of being subjected to the death penalty in the event of extradition.

Case Number C-473/15

Name of the parties Peter Schotthöfer & Florian Steiner GbR v. Eugen Adelsmayr

Date of the judgement 2017-09-06

Court Court of Justice (ECJ)