Strategic Litigation

Case summary: Health reasons as grounds to refuse execution of an EAW

Legal opinion by Fair Trials submitted to the Italian Constitutional Court

Published: (Last updated: )

In 2019, the Italian authorities issued a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to request the surrender of D.L.E. The defendant opposed the surrender. Following the submission of medical documentation by the defence, the Court of Appeal in Milan ordered the requested person’s medical evaluation. The medical expert found, inter alia, that the requested person suffers from permanent mental health conditions and that there was a risk of suicide and that the defendant needed mental health care. The medical expert also found that due to the defendant’s condition, it would not be suitable for him to be placed in prison.

Fair Trials submitted a legal opinion in the case, arguing that the health of the requested person, specifically the risk of deterioration of their mental health due to poor detention conditions (including the lack of access to mental healthcare) and conditions of the transfer itself, should constitute grounds for refusal to execute an EAW under Article 1(3) of the EAW Framework Decision. This stems from the obligation of Member States and their courts to ensure the protection of human rights as set out under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the Charter).