Public Prosecution Services and the Rule of Law in Europe: Conceptions and Misconceptions on the Required Level of Independence

Date: 16-06-2022

Location: Law Faculty of Leiden University Kamerlingh Onnes Building, Steenschuur 25, Leiden The Netherlands

Languages: English

Fees: € 0.45

Organiser: Jannemieke Ouwerkerk (Leiden Law School) and Sjarai Lestrade (Radboud University Nijmegen)


In various European countries, the precise role and position of public prosecutors have become the subject of heated discussions in recent years, the main issue being their required degree of independence. For most of these countries, it was the CJEU's decision in OG and PI in 2019 that kicked off the discussion. In these cases it was decided that national prosecution services that are subject to directions from the executive branch (e.g. a Minister of Justice), do not qualify as an ‘issuing judicial authority’ within the meaning of EU law and are therefore not authorized to issue a European arrest warrant. In other countries, such as the Netherlands, discussions on the independence of the Public Prosecution Service were already underway when the decision was issued by the CJEU. Debates on the matter are still ongoing in the various European jurisdictions, fuelled only further by post-OG&PI rulings dealing with similar questions on the competence of the public prosecutor in EU criminal matters. The objective of this seminar is to take stock of the CJEU's line of case-law regarding the independence of public prosecutors in the framework of criminal justice cooperation and its consequences so far, both in the specific context of cooperation in EAW cases, as well as with regard to other judicial cooperation mechanisms. To that end, the seminar will bring together legal scholars and practitioners from a variety of EU Member States and with backgrounds in criminal law, constitutional law and EU law.