Mutual recognition in criminal matters and state sovereignty: the case of the European arrest warrant.
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Judicial cooperation is in the fore of European Union (hereinafter referred to as EU) integration in criminal matters. In the past decade we have witnessed revolutionary efforts to introduce new mechanisms in this field that have reshaped EU criminal cooperation and have promisingly declared to develop the EU into an area of freedom, security and justice. The pioneer initiative in this area has, without doubt, been the principle of Mutual Recognition, which has been famously pronounced as the cornerstone of judicial cooperation and has become the centerpiece of EU judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The adoption of the Framework Decision on the European Arrest Warrant signified the introduction of the first concrete measure in the field of EU criminal law implementing the principle of Mutual Recognition. To date, it has been implemented by all Member States and has had more than seven years of testing ground. In the context therefore of exploring the impact of the application of the principle of Mutual Recognition in criminal matters on State Sovereignty this thesis takes the European Arrest Warrant as a case study. The hypothesis of this thesis is that the European Arrest Warrant, in theory and practice, challenges essential functions and prerogatives of Member States that are defining features of their State Sovereignty. The discussion that follows is dedicated to exploring whether State Sovereignty is challenged. To do so, it focuses on three axons around the European Arrest Warrant a) the double criminality requirement and its partial abolition b) the removal of the bar to surrender of own nationals and c) the “depoliticisation” of the surrender procedure.
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