PF (Procureur général de Lituanie)
On the 6th of August 2018, the Irish Supreme Court lodged a request for a preliminary ruling in the frame of the surrender procedure of P.F. The Irish Court referred the following questions to the Court of Justice:
- Are the criteria according to which to decide whether a public prosecutor designated as an issuing judicial authority for the purposes of Art. 6(1) [of the EAW Framework Decision] is a judicial authority within the autonomous meaning of that phrase in Art. 6(1) of the Framework Decision of 2002 on European arrest warrant and surrender proceedings between Member States that (1) the public prosecutor is independent from the executive and (2) considered in his own legal system to administer justice or participate in the administration of justice?
- If not, what are the criteria according to which a national court should determine whether a public prosecutor who is designated as an issuing judicial authority for the purposes of Art. 6(1) of the [EAW] Framework Decision is a judicial authority for the purposes of Art. 6(1)?
- Insofar as the criteria include a requirement that the public prosecutor administer justice or participate in the administration of justice is that to be determined in accordance with the status he holds in his own legal system or in accordance with certain objective criteria? If, objective criteria what are those criteria?
- Is the General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania a judicial authority within the autonomous meaning of that phrase in Art. 6(1) of the Council Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and surrender proceedings between Member States?
On 30 April 2019, Advocate General Campo Sánchez-Bordona delivered his Opinion, where he concluded that Article 6(1) of the EAW Council Framework Decision should be interpreted as meaning that the term ‘issuing judicial authority’ does not include the institution of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The same conclusion is to be found in his Opinion in Joined Cases C-508/18 and C-82/19 PPU (Minister for Justice and Equality v O.G. and P.I.), which was delivered on the same day.
In its judgment of 27 May 2019, the Court of Justice rejects the Advocate General's stance by arguing that the concept of an ‘issuing judicial authority’, within the meaning of Article 6(1) of the EAW Council Framework Decision, must be interpreted as including the Prosecutor General of a Member State who, whilst institutionally independent from the judiciary, is responsible for the conduct of criminal prosecutions and whose legal position, in that Member State, affords him a guarantee of independence from the executive in connection with the issuing of a European arrest warrant.
Case Number C-509/18
Name of the parties Minister for Justice and Equality v PF
Date of the judgement 2019-05-27
Court Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)