Summaries of judgments made in collaboration with the Portuguese decide and référendaire of the CJEU (Nuno Piçarra and Sophie Perez)
Judgment of 18 April 2023, EDL (Floor for refusal on account of sickness), case C‑699/21, EU:C:2023:295
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Judicial cooperation in felony issues – European arrest warrant – Framework Choice 2002/584/JHA – Article 1(3) – Article 23(4) – Give up procedures between Member States – Grounds for non-execution – Article 4(3) TEU – Obligation of loyalty cooperation – Postponement of the execution of the European arrest warrant – Article 4 of the Constitution of Basic Rights of the European Union – Prohibition of inhuman or degrading therapy – Critical, power and doubtlessly irreversible sickness – Threat of significant harm to the well being of the individual to whom the European arrest warrant applies
On September 9, 2019, the Municipal courtroom in Zadar (Zadar Municipal Court docket, Croatia) issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) towards EDL, who resides in Italy, for the aim of finishing up a felony prosecution in Croatia.
The Court docket of Attraction of Milan (Court docket of Attraction, Milan, Italy), the judicial authority competent to execute that EAW, required EDL to be assessed by a psychiatrist. The skilled’s report revealed, amongst different issues, the existence of a psychotic dysfunction requiring therapy with medicines and psychotherapy, and recognized a major threat of suicide in case of imprisonment. Based mostly on the skilled report, the Court docket of Attraction of Milan dominated firstly that the execution of the EAW would interrupt EDL’s therapy and result in a deterioration of his basic well being, the implications of which may very well be exceptionally critical. Secondly, that courtroom held that the related nationwide provisions transposing Framework Choice 2002/584 don’t present that such well being causes might represent a floor for refusing give up in proceedings for the execution of an EAW. The Court docket of Attraction of Milan requested the Excessive Court docket (Constitutional Court docket, Italy) on the constitutionality of those provisions.
Because the scenario of a critical menace to the well being of the requested individual on account of a power sickness of probably indefinite period shouldn’t be among the many grounds for non-execution of an EAW, Excessive Court docket It’s unsure whether or not it could be doable to beat this threat by suspending the give up of that individual below Article 23(4) of Framework Choice 2002/584.
Findings of the ECJ
The ECJ recollects that the precept of mutual belief between Member States and the precept of mutual recognition, which constitutes the “cornerstone” of judicial cooperation in felony issues, are basic in EU regulation and, specifically, that “The precept of mutual belief requires, particularly as regards the realm of freedom, safety and justice, that every of those States, besides in distinctive circumstances, assumes that each one different Member States adjust to EU regulation and specifically the elemental rights assured by the Union are recognised. EU regulation”.
With regard to Framework Choice 2002/584, the Court docket of Justice reiterates that the executing judicial authorities might solely refuse to execute an EAW on grounds arising from this Framework Choice, as interpreted by the Court docket, and that, though the execution of the EAW rule, refusal to execute is meant as an exception to be interpreted strictly. The ECJ notes that Framework Choice 2002/584 doesn’t present that executing judicial authorities might refuse to execute an EAW solely on the grounds that the requested individual suffers from a critical, power and doubtlessly irreversible sickness. In view of the precept of mutual belief, the Court docket of Justice emphasizes that “there’s a presumption that the care and therapy supplied within the Member States for the therapy of, inter alia, such illnesses will likely be ample, both in prisons or within the context of other preparations to make the individual obtainable to the judicial authorities of the issuing Member State Member State”.
Nevertheless, Article 23(4) of Framework Choice 2002/584 reveals that in distinctive circumstances, together with that the life or well being of the requested individual is clearly in danger, give up could also be briefly postponed. The ECJ subsequently concludes that “the executing judicial authority shall have the ability to briefly postpone the give up of the requested individual, supplied that there are critical causes to imagine, on the premise of goal materials, resembling medical certificates or skilled reviews, that there’s a manifest hazard to the execution of the arrest warrant the well being of that individual, for instance due to a short lived sickness or situation of that individual that existed earlier than the date on which she or he was to be surrendered”. This discretion have to be exercised, inter alia, in accordance with Article 4 of the Constitution.
It follows that, “in a scenario the place the executing judicial authority, within the gentle of the target materials obtainable to it, has substantial and established grounds to imagine that the give up of the requested individual, who’s significantly ailing, would expose her or him to an actual threat of a major discount in his or her life expectancy or of a fast, vital and irreversible deterioration in his or her state of well being, that authority shall be required, in accordance with Article 4 of the Constitution, to train the ability referred to in Article 23(4) Framework Choice 2002/584 by deciding to postpone the give up”. In such conditions, the ECJ emphasizes the significance of the obligation of honest cooperation enshrined within the first subparagraph of Article 4(3) TEU, because it ought to inform the dialogue between each the executing and issuing judicial authorities.
Accordingly, the ECJ interprets Articles 1(3) and 23(4) of Framework Choice 2002/584, learn within the gentle of Article 4 of the Constitution, as follows:
“ – the place there are affordable grounds to imagine that the give up of a requested individual in execution of a European arrest warrant clearly entails a threat of endangering his or her well being, the executing judicial authority might, by the use of exception, briefly postpone that give up ;
- the place the executing judicial authority tasked with deciding on the give up of a requested one who is significantly ailing in execution of a European arrest warrant concludes that there are substantial and confirmed causes to imagine that such give up would expose that individual to an actual threat of a major discount in his or her life expectancy or of a fast, vital and irreversible deterioration in his or her state of well being, he should postpone such give up and request the issuing judicial authority to supply all details about the circumstances below which she or he intends to prosecute or place the individual in custody and the potential of adapting these circumstances to his or her state of well being to forestall such a threat from arising;
- If, within the gentle of the knowledge supplied by the issuing judicial authority and every other info obtainable to the executing judicial authority, it seems that this threat can’t be eradicated inside an affordable time, the executing judicial authority ought to refuse to execute the European arrest warrant. Alternatively, if that threat will be excluded inside such a interval, a brand new date of give up have to be agreed with the issuing judicial authority.”
Judgment of 11 Could 2023, TAP Portugal (Dying of the co-pilot), Joined Instances C‑156/22 a C‑158/22, EU:C:2023:393
Reference for a preliminary ruling – Air transport – Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 – Compensation of air passengers within the occasion of flight cancellation – Article 5(3) – Exemption from the duty to supply compensation – Idea of “extraordinary circumstances” – Sudden absence on account of sickness or demise, of a crew member whose presence is important for the execution of the flight
On July 17, 2019, TAP was scheduled to function a flight from Stuttgart (Germany) to Lisbon (Portugal), with a departure scheduled for six:05 am. On the identical day, the co-pilot who was to conduct the flight in query was discovered lifeless. Shocked by this occasion, your entire crew declared themselves unfit to fly. With no substitute workers obtainable, the 6:05 am flight was cancelled. The passengers had been then transported to Lisbon on a substitute flight at 4:40 p.m.
TAP refused to pay the compensation supplied for in Article 7(1) of Regulation No 261/2004 on the grounds that the sudden demise of the co-pilot constituted a unprecedented circumstance inside the which means of Article 5(3) of that regulation .
On attraction, the Stuttgart Regional Court docket (Regional Court docket of Stuttgart, Germany) has determined to remain the proceedings and refer the matter to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The referring courtroom puzzled whether or not Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 have to be interpreted as which means that the sudden absence, on account of sickness or demise, of a crew member whose presence is important for the efficiency of a flight, which passed off shortly earlier than the scheduled departure of that flight falls below the idea of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ inside the which means of this provision.
Findings of the ECJ
The ECJ recollects its case regulation based on which the idea of ‘extraordinary circumstances’, inside the which means of Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004, refers to “occasions which, by their nature or origin, will not be inherent within the regular train of the actions of the air provider involved and are past the precise management of that air provider”, these two circumstances are cumulative.
In accordance with the Court docket of Justice, measures referring to the workers of the working air provider, resembling measures referring to crew scheduling and workers working hours, fall inside the regular train of that air provider’s actions. Subsequently, within the train of their actions, airways working flights might naturally be confronted with the sudden absence, on account of sickness or demise, of a number of workers members whose presence is important to the operation of an airline. flight, even shortly earlier than the departure of that flight. Accordingly, the administration of such an absence stays intrinsically linked to the problem of crew scheduling and workers working hours, with the consequence that such an sudden occasion is inherent within the regular train of the working air provider’s actions. On this context, the Court docket of Justice emphasizes that “it’s exactly the absence, on account of sickness or demise, of a number of crew members, even when sudden, and never the particular medical reason for that absence, which constitutes an occasion inherent within the regular train of that air provider’s exercise , with the consequence that the provider should anticipate that such unexpected occasions will happen within the context of the planning of its crews and the working hours of its personnel”.
Because the first of the 2 cumulative circumstances talked about above shouldn’t be met, there isn’t any want to look at whether or not the second of those circumstances is met.
Accordingly, the ECJ interprets Article 5(3) of Regulation No 261/2004 as follows:the sudden absence – on account of sickness or demise of a crew member whose presence is important for the efficiency of a flight – that occurred shortly earlier than the scheduled departure of that flight doesn’t fall below the idea of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ inside the which means of that provision”.