Extradition

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The Waiver of Immunity of Catalan MEPs: Reintroducing Politics in EU Extradition Law

On 8 March 2021, the European Parliament voted to lift the immunity of Catalan MEPs, Puigdemont, Comin and Ponsati. Although this long-lasting saga is far from being over as Puigdemont already announced his intention to bring the case before the CJEU on procedural grounds, this decision would theoretically enable Spanish authorities to resume the European arrest warrants issued for these Catalan leaders in exile. Quite contrary to what happened so far in the case of Catalan exiles, the European arrest warrant was supposed to streamline extraditions among EU Member States through a number of changes to traditional extradition procedures, including their depoliticisation. Depoliticisation of extraditions to ease automatisation As outlined in a previous blogpost, the depoliticisation of extraditions in the EU followed and was partly due to the Garcia Moreno case that took place between Spain and Belgium in the 1990s. The case concerned two Basque separatists who sought refuge in Belgium. The latter refused to extradite them back to Spain, arguing the offences for which they were requested were political.

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Humanitarian Victory for Assange

On 4 January 2021, the British judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Westminster Magistrates Court in London rejected the request to extradite Julian Assange to the United States in a solid 132-page judgment. This does not mean that the WikiLeaks founder has regained his freedom, however: his bail application was likewise rejected two days later on the…

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M.N. and Others v Belgium: no ECHR protection from refoulement by issuing visas

 With its inadmissibility decision in M.N. and Others v Belgium delivered on 5 May 2020, the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR made it clear that individuals who apply for visas at embassies with the intention to seek protection, do not fall within the jurisdiction of the ECHR State Parties in the sense of Article 1 ECHR. As…

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Romeo Castaño v Belgium and the Duty to Cooperate under the ECHR

With a judgment of 9 July 2019, in the case of Romeo Castaño v Belgium, the second section of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) held unanimously that Belgium had fallen short of its procedural obligations under article 2 of the Convention for failing to cooperate with the Spanish authorities in securing the surrender of…

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The Assange case and the UK’s global defence of media freedom

Human rights advocates often point to the lack of consistency and coherence between states’ stated commitments, on the one hand, and their actions, on the other. Even then, the tensions surrounding the UK’s recent approach to the goal of protecting media freedom globally and its projection seem striking. Within less than a week, the UK government…

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